The Dawn of the Fifth Day

OK, I know it’s been a lot more than five days. And, no, you weren’t holding Helm’s Deep during this time (which is probably for the best).
Just let me have my Gandalf moment, OK?

It’s been a while. This post is to serve as a recap and explanation as to why. It’s also the announcement of my return, I suppose.

About a year ago (Jan of last year) I was in a bit of a predicament; my residence permit to live in Finland was to expire as February ended. Since I didn’t want this to happen, I needed a source of income to apply for a new permit.
At this time I had been trying to start a PhD for some time. I had managed to find some potential supervisors, but funding was much more scarce. It never pulled through.
So, as February rolled around I basically entered panic mode. Bailing on getting a PhD position, I simply tried for any research or teaching position I could get. Fortunately, this tactic worked much better, as someone who recognized my name called me up wanting me to build cool things for him. I counted myself very lucky.
so, for the past year (Feb to Feb) I was working as a researcher on an interesting augmented reality project based out of Padova Italy. The work was interesting, the people were fun, and I learned a lot. I don’t think I could have asked for more given the circumstances.

Some of the more attentive folks might be able to correlate March with a sudden boost to my modding time and productivity. Essentially, I suddenly had the time and comfort to enable me to be more creative. Unfortunately it didn’t last. Come August I was informed that my contract would not be renewed when it expired in Feb. This coupled with the project needing to finish soon and the theatre group I’m in starting it’s latest production (in Sept; performed last week) pretty much killed all that time and desire to work on my personal projects.
And that’s when the big gap started.

I managed a few sporadic fixes and updates since, but I honestly had some difficulty wanting to work on anything due to the stress I was already under. I will honestly tell you that making a mod as big as Mystcraft is stressful not for the work doing it, but for dealing with the community around it. I didn’t want to interact with that source of stress, and so I distanced myself from all of it.

Leap forward to January of this year. I, once again, found myself with an expiring residence permit. I’d been doing the same as the previous round, trying to start my PhD, but the climate for that is even worse now than before.
And so I bailed on academia and went looking for a job at a game company.

In the end, come late Jan/early Feb, I secured a contract with Mindfield Games here in Finland, and I could not be happier. It has been so much fun and is exactly the kind of work I love doing and am well suited for. The peopel I’m working with are awesome as well.

Thus ends the Workplace Saga. At least for the foreseeable future, as this contract is indefinite. 😀

However, February and March ended up a very busy time for me. Between the new job and the theatre production (which I’d now been upgraded to both a main character and the producer for) I simply didn’t have any real free time. (One thing to another, my life is.)
The shows (Terry Pratchett’s Guards! Guards! adapted by Stephen Briggs) occurred last week. I spent Easter weekend recovering.

And now I’m back to being able to do fun stuff.

There’s a small hill of things I’ve been putting off that I’ll be working through (including setting up/finishing building a computer I got over Christmas) but I’m looking forward to getting back into the groove of Mystcraft and LookingGlass. It’ll be slow for a while, but I’m on my way back.