Year’s End

2016 wasn’t great for a lot of people. I’m sorry. It was a blast for me!

This year was the dream. Since my Waterloo days, I’d known my eventual destiny: Southeast Asia — cheap living, novel adventures, fantastic food, and independent game development. Not everything went smoothly, but looking back, I can’t be more thrilled with how it came together.

Reflecting on the entire year is too much for a single blog post, but hopefully, my weekly musings gave you a peek inside my head.

I haven’t planned 2017 as precisely. But I will release a game next year! I’m excited to finally show the world what I can make. I’m terrified to finally show the world what I can make. Getting there still requires many steps, including a lot I’ll have to take in the dark — PR, conventions, hiring, and a crap load of others things that I don’t have the first clue about.

Thankfully, indie game developers are a welcoming bunch. I’ve often gaped at my computer screen, astonished at the support received from experts. I know I’ll get buoyed further through unexpected channels next year. Thank you to every one of those helpers — I promise I’ll pay it back and forward.

But the biggest thanks of 2016 have to go to you, the readers of this blog. Whenever I posted game updates, you (deservedly or not) lauded me. Whenever I posted about feeling down, you (deservedly or not) supported me. Whenever I felt lonely, ignored, or isolated, all I needed was a peek at the site stats, to show me that you (deservedly or not) were still following alongside me. You were my best helping hand.

Thank you!

I hope you’ll stick around for 2017 and see this project through. I won’t be able to do it without you!

See you next year!

Numa Pompilius was a Sabine, not a Roman. But, for complicated political reasons, he was chosen to be the second king of Rome, a year after the death of Romulus. Numa’s first act as king was dedicating a temple to Janus, whom many believe was Numa’s favourite god, due to the duality of Janus’ outlooks: war and peace, forward and backward, maybe Sabine and Roman? So when Numa proposed a calendar reform — from the previous 10 months to a 12 month version — he dedicated the first of his two new months to Janus. Although, he slotted both months at the end of the calendar, which still started in spring, in the month of March.

Queue a revolt in Hispania, a new Roman territory some 300 years later. The Romans, like any good empire, were eager to quell this rebellion, but they had a nagging political problem: like we do now, they elected their leaders during the last couple months of the year, but only officially appointed them after the start of the new year. Well, Hispania had revolted near the end of the year, in January. So the newly elected consuls weren’t in power and couldn’t yet lead their troops. But to start a war headed by the current consuls, only to have them replaced by new leaders during the war, seemed unconscionable. So the Romans changed the start of the civic calendar to January, to let the new leaders get to the bloodshed right away! Thus, while the Roman populous still considered the new year to start in March, civic calculations for the year began in January.

Understandably, that discrepancy caused a lot of headaches. A century later, our good friend Julius Caesar was having none of it. While making further calendar adjustments, he also officially declared January as the start of a year, for both civic and popular ceremony. This gave us a reason to get drunk in the middle of winter. Thanks Jules!

Oh this section has nothing to do with anything, but I thought it was a fun historical romp, and it shows how completely arbitrary it is to have the new year start in January. Thanks for reading, happy holidays!

Background image by Loudon Dodd