How Do you Balance a Day Job and Creative Hobbies?


#1

On Waypoint Radio 187, Austin, Danielle, Rob, and Patrick discuss the epic troll Nintendo pulled on Animal Crossing fans in its recent Nintendo Direct. Really, we talk through all of the announcements from the presentation, including Luigi's ghostly form, Switch ports, and that big Animal Crossing on Switch reveal. Then we talk about games we've been playing, including The Masque of Red Death, The Messenger, Frozen Synapse 2, and more. And, of course, there's a dip in the question bucket (with some creative advice!) and some fun announcements!


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/gyngzm/waypoint-radio-nintendo-direct-life-advice

#2

So ugh has there been big dog/waypoint fan art yet? cause there’s gotta be. It’s gotta happen now.


#3

Tactics and chill…


#4

I am just very disappointed that no-one realised that Ghost Spiders create Octoplasm.


#5

Yes! We finally made it to the discourse cycle where people can say “actually, Civ Rev was pretty good.” Rev 1 and 2 remain my most played games this decade just because I always had them on my various iPhones. I’m skeptical that Civ6’s complexity will translate to gaming on the go, but I’m willing to go in with an open mind as someone who has only played up to Civ 5.


#6

I haven’t played rev 2 but I really enjoyed the original and thought it was a great translation of the game to console controls. That has me hopeful for Civ VI. It’s definitely a much more complicated game than even V however. I’ll be curious if I want such a crunchy game for portable. Like Rob though, I’m mostly worried about late game performance.


#7

The 360/PS3 versions were great too, and I even cleared all the achievements on them. There’s a graphics downgrade on mobile as it’s a port of the DS version, but the gameplay remains the same. Rev 2 is mostly an update to get the mobile versions up to console graphics, along with Civ 5 inspired quality of life improvements.

I totally get you about late game performance on Switch for Civ 6, but as someone who played the series consistently on barely adequate hardware, the chugging late game feels authentic. :wink:

EDIT: Just got to the end of the podcast where they tease some new audio content on the horizon. Given the crew’s love of Slate podcasts, are we getting a video game Slow Burn?!


#8

I still remember barely running five on a beige desktop computer. Never has “the last 10% takes 90% of the time” felt more accurate a mantra than finishing a civ game on that poor thing :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


#9

“How Do you Balance a Day Job and Creative Hobbies?”

Badly! Or at least I certainly feel like I do it badly, these days. I work a 9 to 5, and then as many times per year as I can also do live theatre, which means 2 months at a time of going from that 9-to-5 directly into 3 or 4 hours of rehearsal / performance most nights.

Between that and trying to play some games / see some friends / get things done that aren’t work or theatre, I certainly don’t sleep much or eat well. It’s tough.


#10

Civ Rev is the best civ and I may have written a 241 page design document for a sequel.

Speaking of balancing a day job and creative hobbies, I have thoughts about this. I’ve always done creative work in my spare time and have been very fortunate to get involved in some projects that have had a wider impact than I could have hoped for.

I think the best advice I can give based on my experience of having done so is to be patient. Anything you do is going to take a long time and probably not come out at the same quality level as professionally done work so you need to be prepared to be happy with small increments of work slowly adding up to something potentially massive. You need to learn not so much about how to pace yourself (which is what professionals do) but to recognise when you’re doing productive work and it’s a good time to push yourself, and when you’re doing non-productive work and therefore its probably good to step back and give yourself a break. Key to this is recognising burnout, which is going to happen especially if you’re working on something that takes 10 or more years to do, which is the time scale you may end up looking at when you can only spend small chunks of your time on a project. Don’t ever beat yourself up about how much you’re getting done and whether you’re doing the right thing. You have the luxury of not needing your creative hobby to support yourself or anyone else and so you can experiment and do projects that on their face are completely useless (like my 241 page Civ Rev design) but are scratching a creative itch.

I can’t speak to collaboration much, because I don’t think over the time scales that I work on that you’re going to get many direct collaborations. The board game stuff is an exception, but the particular design model I’ve worked inside is where collaboration is serial rather than parallel: I would get the design and run with it for a while before handing it off to someone else.

There’s also a lot of advice that creative professionals give each other that may not necessarily apply if you’re a part timer. For instance, while I appreciate “Fail quick and fail often”, cultivating a community in order to get the feedback needed to figure out if you’re failing is in itself probably a full time job, so I feel like I’m better off relying on intuition to figure out if I’m succeeding or failing.

I’m only one data point and a pretty weird one, so I’m not sure if you should listen to anything I have to say, but just putting it out there.


#11

Also I thought it was called the blog-o-sphere. Calling it the brainy-sphere attributes too much to one person (The Brainy Gamer) where I felt the influence of many others (Simon Carless at Gamasutra in particular) did a lot more to help at least the corner I was writing in develop their voice.

I’ve noticed recently I’ve started firing up the RSS feed reader again and enjoying the experience.


#12

I may, or may not, use my spare time at work to make sketches and such. Over the past couple of years, I’ve made a few gifts for my wife we have framed in our house that I’ve worked on over the course of a few weeks snagging a minute or two of time where I could. I would bring them home and do the finishing touches and fine detail work after she went to bed.


#13

On shrieking when seeing unexpected critters: Years ago I spent a summer in a not airtight cabin on Colorado’s western slope. Late one night I stood up and turned around to see the biggest spider I had ever seen, about twelve inches from my bare feet, and had a full-body freakout including vocalizations I am not sure how I produced. Thing was about the size of a saucer? So I learned that night that wolf spiders migrate through that area and that they can get very large.

It was, one could say, an annual animal crossing.


#14

What kinds of gifts? I assume sketches, but curious what you sketched.

I’ve made my wife some creative gifts for Valentine’s day. They’re usually focused around our cats. So once I wrote an email chain between our five cats. Another year, I mocked up the front page of a newspaper that our cats made for her.


#15

Answering the question in the header: poorly!

I work in a creative field, so usually by the time I get home, I’m burnt out and don’t really have much creative juice left to focus on my own peojects (the ADHD also doesn’t help). It can be depressing sometimes, but I try to just make little strides where I can and not expect results in any kind of timely manner.


#16

Sketches and stippled drawings. I’ve done places we’ve been that have special meaning to us or flowers. I also have a skull I made hanging up as well, although that was more for the sake of doing it as opposed to for her.


#17

i didnt know there were post-credits sequences on this damn thing…


#18

Every hour of the nine years I spent in retail filled me with more hate for the position I was in, and more passion for the work I was going to do when I got home.

The best thing to do is to focus on polishing your craft rather than on having a lot of content out, because when you have the chance to strike for full-time creative, the skills are going to be more important than your ability to make a lot of stuff (which should happen naturally as you learn anyway).

One thing I’ve noticed about my career that I credit my success to partially is my consistent improvement and repetition, keeping at it even if I only finished one album a year. Prior to 2013, that was my normal pace, but once I saw the opportunity, I let the floodgates open and now my Bandcamp looks ridiculous.

When you don’t have an audience waiting for you to drop something, that’s not wasted time producing something no one will experience. It’s actually the perfect time to comfortably get better at your own pace with less pressure.

P.S. if it makes any people working jobs feel better, my lowest point was crying on the floor of a truck in a UPS warehouse on the clock.


#19

I’m mainly just surprised Austin didn’t talk about Daemon Ex Machina


#20

I’m disappointed Danielle missed the truth behind what Peachette and Toadette really represents. Peachette is actually the missing link in the Mushroom Kingdom’s bizarre biology. With her, the entire series finally makes sense.

All “Mario humans” and mushroom people are a continuum of metamorphosis. This was evidence in Super Mario Odyssey, when clearly Mario was not a human, he was some human-like creature. Compared to the humans of New Donk City, he was some other race. In fact, he is the final stage of a long path of “evolution”.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Mushroom - Just a mushroom. The most advanced caste of the species can use these as a power-up.
  2. Goomba - The mushroom gains sentience but is aggressive and simple-minded. This is also when the first hints of two sexes appear, with the appearance of Goombette. Females of the species are far rarer than males, which may be why they are prized and treated as royalty.
  3. Toad/Toadette - The mushroom takes on a fully humanoid shape and is intelligent enough to be treated as a full person. In the Mushroom Kingdom the Toads are the worker caste, serving under the elites. Not all Toads manage to reach the final stage though and can reach old age before the final metamorphosis (see Toadsworth).
  4. Mario/Peach/Peachette - Final known evolution. The last vestige of the mushroom origin is lost and replaced with hair.

Any possibility of a fifth form is too horrifying for me to process. But now everything makes sense. Peachette is the Grand Unifying Theory of Mario.

returns to garage with paranoid conspiracy theories scribbled all over the walls