Educational goals for 2020-21

I’ve been expanding my skill set beyond writing to start an indie development business in the gaming industry. For instance, this Fall 2019 semester, I completed Business Admin 51: Business Planning and Info Systems 40B: Advanced Web Design Concepts.

I promised more year-end notes in my last post, so today, I’d like to lay out the current trajectory of my post-grad community college studies.

It always feels exciting to begin a new decade.

Spring 2020

I teach 2x English 1A courses, including one online class, plus another M/W class that’s supplemented by English 205. In addition, I’m taking on 15 units of courses, including:

Once completing this coursework, I’ll apply for the Certificate in Android Applications and Certificate in Entrepreneurial Ventures at Fresno City College. Since RPG Maker publishes in Android, this will help me expand outside PC games in the initial stages of business development.

My thinking is that spreadsheet fundamentals will also help my accounting skills more—which is why I’m tackling it sooner rather than later, despite the 15-unit weight—and word processing may help me jump-start e-book drafting (although, I’ve been studying Adobe In-Design on Udemy, thinking that’s the route I wanted; so we’ll see how that goes).

I don’t know when I’ll have the good fortune of teaching an online class again. This is the perfect opportunity to make my educational goals more heavyweight than normal. I do much better in online environments, where my autism is more of a benefit than a disability. I know this isn’t the case for all autistic people; my sensory sensitivity’s just been harder with fluorescent lights as I age.

Fluorescent lights have migraine-inducing flickers.

Summer 2020

I’ve applied to teach, but it’s still pending. In addition, I’m taking on a 3-unit course, Intro to Game Making, which focuses on Unity. I currently develop in RPG Maker engines, so this’ll expand my game-making toolbox.

I plan to finish the beta version of Worlds They Dream for open play-test over the summer, so I don’t want to take more than one course; and if I’m lucky enough to teach over the summer, I may postpone the Unity class until the Summer 2021 semester.

I’m making PC games for download, as well as web and mobile games. No console yet, unless Windows and/or iOS RPG Maker MV become compatible with the Switch version.

Fall 2020

I’ve applied to teach, but it’s still pending. In addition, I hope to complete 12.5 units of coursework, which is a little tamer than Spring 2020:

Web development courses build up to eventual plans for web games that are supported on a business server vs. Itch.io, including visual novels.

One of the reasons I like web games is because they close the space between tablets and laptops.

Spring 2021

I hope to teach and complete 12.5 units of coursework:

Once completing this coursework, I’ll apply for the AS in Information Systems: Web Design and the AA in Art History at Clovis College. Our company website already looks better than my original designs from 2018, thanks to the web courses I’ve completed so far. On the other hand, my art history studies are an echo from 2017-18 courses, when I was considering applying for an Master of Arts in Art History at Fresno State.

Furthermore, I’ll apply for the A.S. in Computer Information Tech: Web Development at Fresno City College. Then I’ll build free visual novels (i.e., interactive books) for sub-domains with side plots available for purchase.

I used to be more invested in traditional mediums than digital ones. Studying fine art helps with conceptualizing digital art.

Aside: how educational goals change

In the future, I may yet pursue that Master of Arts in Art History—given I qualify for a student loan waiver after 7 years of high-load part-time teaching at the community college—because, while I enjoy teaching, I like changing things up too, and I’ve been instructing English courses for 5 years already; English 205 is the newness that’s currently resuscitating my professionally.

If you look at my business choice, my need for shifts becomes evident: the volatility of the gaming industry is attractive to me because ever-changing environments force people to do new things, to adapt, indefinitely—and I think that’s exciting.

Teaching English can be that way too, though—I modify my lesson plans to fit short stories, poems, YouTube videos, and web articles that are less than a year old, so they connect with students more—which is why I’m not sure if pursuing an art history degree, just so I can teach art history, is reasonable. Have I been teaching the same English classes for 5 years? Certainly not. My instruction’s been growing along with me.

I used to want more from art history than teaching. I used to want to learn about Oceanic arts because I felt these cultures were being left out of the narrative of art history, which is a disservice to rich cultures who contributed wondrous stories, artifacts, and wisdom to our world.

I still feel this way; I just don’t know if I need to teach art history to address these feelings. I don’t know if I need a master’s degree to work out these feelings. I could create a website that celebrates these cultures and their arts instead, like this one, yet gamified—designed as a resource for self-learners who like online interactivity, but something more personal than social media. My web development studies can extend beyond game making, into learning resources, without the need for returning to university, where the walls can feel too rigid.

One of the hardest things about long-term goals is that people keep evolving. What I do know is that it’s not wise to apply for graduate school (for a second round, no less) with mixed feelings. That’s why I’m casting a wide net over business-startup skills at the community college level, exploring and innovating—offering game-making and web development as a new form to express feelings and teach about our world.

I’m fairly certain I’ll continue to teach at community colleges, ideally online, and I know the job training I’m learning at the local level is invaluable. I like where I am now.

For me, when it comes to game-making, math is the exciting and intimidating part.

Fall 2021

I hope to teach and complete 10 units of coursework:

Once completing this coursework, I’ll apply for the AA in Psychology and AA in Arts at Fresno City College. Psychology studies improve my character design and dialogue, while educating me on the proper rhetoric for the books and games I plan to release to de-stigmatize mental health. Meanwhile, I’ve slowly studied fine arts as part of making my business’s swag, which we’re selling at shows, as well as on Etsy, as a way of promoting our games. Printmaking is an example of an art form that translates to neat-o swag.

The end of 2021 will also be the ribbon tied on my post-grad community college goals. From there, I’ll ramp up my time investment in my business. Alternatively, I may continue for an AS in Physics to enhance the physics in my Unity games; but I’ll likely hire that talent instead. Knowing up to pre-calculus will give me a little more mathematics-based rhetoric for navigating that interview and/or physics degree, when it’s time to cross that bridge.

Of course, I’ll also continue learning relevant skills and business practices through books and Udemy (or whatever online continued learning option seems the most reasonable; a lot can change by the end of 2021).

More year-end notes to come.

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