2018 Development Goals

2017 was ‘The Year of Trying Things.’

I had no idea what a great title that was when I wrote it. I tried things and there were trying things. There were wonderful trips and concerts and shows. But there were awful things seemingly everywhere. Natural disasters. Unsettling revelations. A year of whiplash.

For starters, a quick review of the items on last year’s list.

Things I Tried:

  • Surfing
  • Parkour Meetup [DONE]
  • Aerial Dogfighting Stick Fighting [DONE] 🙂
  • Camping on the beach
  • Make an app or game [BEGUN/ONGOING]
Left-to-right: Tempest Academy’s Brian Orosco; Stick Fighting with the Dog Brothers; Coding at Mantra Coffee Company (watched over by Sven)

Some of these goals were a little fluffy. Fun, yes! No question, but not incredibly substantive. So – today – I recommit to a set of goals threefold:

  • Personal – things for me
  • Professional – things for my career
  • Philanthropic – things for others

There’s overlap between all of these, for sure, the efforts and rewards of each rippling and rebounding into the others.



In 2016 I accomplished a LOT. A complete turnaround of my poor diet and exercise habits resulting in 50 pounds lost, strength and mobility gained. In so doing, I hurt my shoulder and had to do some rehab. In 2017, I finished that rehab and never fully found my stride again, though I did accomplish many of my OPT goals (5 pushups, a support hold on the rings, a brief L-Sit, progress on pistol squats). But towards the end of 2017, my training fell apart. I’ve put some weight back on and need to re-focus, set some goals, and work steadily towards them. They are:

  • Lose weight
    • Target weight: 130lbs
    • Target date: August, 2018
  • 1 Pullup, trained using GTG Method (daily)
    • Morning, 2min warm up, 3×1 band-assisted pullups, 3min rest
    • Evening, 2min warm up, 3×1 band-assisted pullups, 3min rest
    • Visualization/Mental practice before sleep
  • Surfing-Focused Strength & Mobility Training, MWF
    • Warm up (~10 minutes)
    • 5×2 pushups, 2min rest; hollow body, forearms perpendicular to the floor through the movement; Friday, do these explosively starting at the low position (~10 minutes)
    • HIIT Circuits or Mobility training (~30 minutes)
  • Check-in on progress at the end of April
I like this sentiment a lot.


  • Surfing – with fitness goals bent this direction, surfing will happen this year! There’s really no excuse not to get out to the beach at least once this Summer and give this a shot
  • Become literate in German
    • daily exercises with paid-and-free apps, Babble and Duolingo
    • weekly free-writing exercises vetted by friends
    • read German children’s fiction (recommendations welcome)
  • Play my backlog of games. People keep recommending games and the stack grows and grows! Still on my game back log:
    • Dark Souls
    • Kingdom Hearts
    • Shadow of the Colossus
    • Earthbound
    • ADDING 999 (and Virtue’s Last Reward)
    • ADDING Five Nights at Freddy’s
    • CHEAT ADD Transistor [PLAYED/FINISHED] 🙂
  • Create and launch a MUSH/MOO to host a supportive creative writing community
    • Architecture, GDD, TDD, Q2
    • Acquire server, hello world, Q3
    • Recruit players/collaborators, Q4


  • Get a studio job – the LAFS game program is ending and I’d like to get back into a studio and get my hands dirty shipping games. I love teaching and will keep doing it, but it’s time to get back to focused development.
    • Get resume together
    • Gather portfolio materials
    • Work that network
  • FitnessApp Alpha on iOS and Android
    • Target date: Q3
    • Reassess desire/feasibility to push App beyond Alpha (I expect that I’ll be able to use it for my needs at Alpha)


Homelessness is at epidemic levels in Los Angeles. A city with the resources we have can do more. Individuals can do more. To that end, I’m dedicating time and money to addressing the needs of Los Angeles’ homeless population.

The organization that inspires me the most is Chrysalis. Their mission is to help low-income and homeless clients out of difficult and unsustainable situations by preparing them for employment and helping them find work. I have applied to be an instructor at Chrysalis and hope to be a part of that organization. Beyond that specific organization, I’ve reached out to a friend I admire who is involved in fundraising for The Center in Hollywood and will be helping her in the near future.

There isn’t an ‘attend one event a month’ goal here because I’m not sure what the possibility space is. The first steps are to get informed and get involved.

If I can’t find ’em, I’ll make ’em.

This is a lot taken all at once, but small consistent effort pays off over time.

New employment will probably sideline many of these. Highest priorities are getting a new gig, fitness, and volunteering.

Creating the fitness app is right behind those.

My lowest priority is launching a MOO and probably … learning German. Learning German is one of the easier things to do, so I’ll probably still make progress on it because the apps are so accessible and easy to use in small moments between other things.

Lots of work and fun ahead!

Here goes!

Author: Karen M

Game designer and instructor.

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