2013 got off to an interesting start for us here at Funomena. Martin and I both had a lovely break visiting with with family and friends... but unfortunately we also caught the dreaded holiday plague. Martin came down with it just before the break, and then I picked it up on the tail end of my vacation. Blech! Not unlike most folks, I get incredibly frustrated when sick. Too tired and groggy to focus on anything "productive" or creative, I start to feel a backlog of mental energy. Luckily I received some lovely new hand-made origami paper and a small bone folder for the holidays - which helped pass the time. That, and the new XCOM for PS3, which I played for about 4 days straight during the worst part of my cold. It was just as good as I'd hoped it would be, and probably saved my sanity!
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Towards the end of January we began to make plans to travel to Vegas for the DICE awards, and then on to the Grand Canyon. I'd never been to see this wonder of erosion and tectonic motion, which is surprising given my love of geology. We knew it would be cold, but thought it would be a nice way to round out our visit to the bright casino lights and glitzy award show. And boy, were we right...
DICE was nuts! Journey was nominated for 11 awards including Game of the Year, and we ended up winning 8 of them which was... unbelievable. On top of all the lovely letters and comments from fellow devs who were touched by the game, this kind of recognition is almost overwhelming. So many people we respect and admire were on the stage that night - and many of the games in our categories were expensive, large-scale productions. It's humbling and a little unreal to think that a game made by ~12 people can compete at that level.
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Driving out to the canyon the next day, we raced a heavy stormfront that was supposed to drop snow later that evening. The clouds filled the sky to the north, and the sun passed through them and faded to purple just as we arrived. Sunset in the cold, cloud-softened canyon was breathtaking. But in the morning - how much more amazing to see the cliffs and crags of this massive structure dusted white, drifting among the storm clouds like a dream.
Time passes slowly on the earth, but for people it seems so much faster. The temptation is to hurry... to resist rest when you are sick, to rush from one success to the next. But slowing down is critical for perspective.
It's going to be a wonderful year.