The measure of a soul

The measure of a soul

A story, an apology, and a promise.

Over the final week of the month of October and throughout almost the entirety of November, I haven’t been very active. I did start the design of the first supplemental product, but haven’t done anything else to move along any of my projects even a tiny bit. I didn’t post on social media, didn’t do some scheduled playtests, generally let myself and a lot of people down. For that, I’d like to apologise. It shouldn’t have happened, and I’m sorry, yet it did. Here’s why:

That’s right, this is just a picture of an old work desk that I keep in the office for… reasons. The problem is what’s not in the picture.

So, here’s the thing. I lost my flash drive. Trivial, I know, but with huge ramifications for my entire process. See, everything is on that drive. And I do mean everything.

  • Personal data? Check.
    Scanned and digital documents, certificates, licenses, digital signatures, etc.
  • Projects? Check.
    Folders upon folders of assets, graphics, pre-written texts for articles and posts, files with mechanics, etc.
  • Libraries? Check.
    RPGs and materials for analysis. Artwork and works of fiction, various media for reference and inspiration.
  • Tools? Check.
    In case you didn’t know, you can install software on removable drives. Sometimes. The loss of Magic Set Editor, among other things, hindered the development of my custom Magic set quite a bit, just as an example.

To be fair, not exactly everything. Work-related things are on another identical drive. But that’s not the point. Almost my entire life is on it. Certainly my soul. Everything I pour into creative projects, the things I like, the things I’ve done or plan to do. From dreams to legacy, it’s pretty much all there. With all of that said, it would seem pretty stupid to keep everything on one unique copy, right? I mean, forget losing it for a moment, plenty of things could go wrong with that plan. The drive can get corrupted. It can get stolen (worst-case scenario right there), etc. But there are many pros to these cons. Kept offline and inaccessible, the information can’t be stolen, or hacked into (not that I’m too worried about somebody targeting me at this point in my life), it’s all consolidated in one easily accessible place, and I can access it anytime, anywhere, regardless of the presence of an internet connection or device type (it has a Micro USB port, too).

The good part is that it’s not unique, and most of the information has plenty of backups. For starters, inspired by many a spy movie, there’s an identical drive in possession of my sister, who keeps it in her safety deposit box at the bank. In a different country. Overkill? Absolutely, and updating the info on that thing happens no more frequently that once every 3 or 4 months if I’m lucky, but it’s the most secure backup system. In addition to that, most of the non-vital stuff (such as scanned copies of my ID, bank info, etc.) exists on cloud storage backups. The problem isn’t so much the information being lost forever, that’s pretty much impossible to happen. The problem is losing access to it all in one easily accessible place, anytime, anywhere. I put a lot of effort into organisation, and when “the system” gets broken it’s really annoying to pull bits and pieces from all over the place whenever you want to write a simple article, or make some sort of design, or even just reference something. Annoying to the point where I just… don’t. Or it takes such a long time for things to come together that I’m already on the next thing. In the past, that’s how I would end up with 17 concurrent projects and unable to really finish one.

Finding it really annoying to work on stuff, and knowing my sister would bring me the other one if a few weeks, I decided to take some time off. Not straight up procrastinating, but kind of. Cleaned and tidied up the entire apartment by myself over the course of a week (the girlfriend was very impressed). Binged some TV shows like a madman (the girlfriend wasn’t so impressed). Gotta say, Continuum is the show I enjoyed the most this year, I think it’s fantastic. Worked more, which was probably not a great idea because I already spend like between 12 and 15 hours at the office. Played more video games. Now I’ll probably play through Jedi: Fallen Order too.

As with most stories, this one too has a happy ending. Found my drive plugged into the TV. Why was it there? I have no idea, and no recollection of doing that, but there it was. And so it was time to get back on track. As much as I enjoyed just clocking out and watching something, I find it really unsettling to not tinker with stuff. It feels like a waste of time. I’m very excited to be working on all of the projects again, but before I went on a spree with updates, I wanted to take some time to get this up and running. No the post, of course. The new blog. It’s due time I moved from Blogger and onto WordPress, so I finally did. Now that I’m in the 21st century, I expect to be more productive on this front as well. Oh, and I made the other blog, a platform for the Tabletop Design Association initiative, where all kinds of designers can write articles. With the new blog comes a promise. To post more regularly. To give updates. To make more content.

For You.

And so. Does anyone have a better measure for a life? A soul? I can give you some rough numbers. How about $31,59? Depressing, I know. How about dimensions? 8.1 x 12.25 x 4.5 mm. I don’t know about the famous 21 grams, mine is more in the realm of 5, if that. But at least I can say I have a heart of gold.