Back on Schedule
Last year I split my quarterlies into halves. This was done because I had two distinct periods of work last year: Bluepoint and Non-Bluepoint. Now that I’m back in Philly and back on my usual schedule, I’m back to reporting quarterly as I was before. Mostly. My quarterly blog posts tended to run a bit late. I would often write them a week or a few weeks after a quarter would end. Not so this year. For 2018, I will be writing reports at the end of March, June, September, and December. This follows nicely with the quarters of my business and with the quarters as they relate to Drexel. I know that most businesses off-set Q1 and Q4 and shift everything else around those dates (typically for tax reasons), but I have the freedom to align my quarters with how my year actually flows.
GDC and Me
If you’re curious about the big picture and big takeaways I had from GDC, check out my GDC Blog I posted yesterday. On the smaller scale, GDC reignited my want to focus on my own content.
Unreal Marketplace, the Unity Asset Store, Turbosquid, Sketchfab, and now even Artstation…digital marketplaces are everywhere and I have been sitting out of those markets for too long. It’s long been a goal of mine to get content live and start selling it. Well now, at long last, I am. Today, the last day of Q1, I submitted my Pots and Pans Asset Pack to the Unreal Marketplace for approval. If approved, it probably won’t be live until the end of April, so I’m not actually selling yet. But my part of the process (pending any corrections) is complete. This has been a goal for years and now all I have to do is wait for Epic to approve my content.
But that’s not all. I plan to make a wide variety of source assets (FBX, TGA) available for purchase via Sketchfab’s Store as well. Once Artstation opens up their Marketplace to all (it’s currently in closed Alpha), I’ll put content there too. I have enough models and kits that I can re-purpose a few of them to be part of a pack, and I can sell them online at all of these store fronts.
My goal isn’t to pump out kit after kit…I’m a solo artist with teaching and contract work to do as well. My goal is the re-purpose what I have for Sketchfab and Artstation, and to prepare a second Unreal Kit for release later this year. With a bit of social marketing, I hope to have a small drip of income from these kits, and from them I hope to add to my overall business bucket. (Unity Marketplace kits will be on a special basis, as most of my art is geared towards the Unreal Engine anyway. Hard to create fancy shaders in Unity currently).
Other Q1 Happenings
Other than GDC and FINALLY getting my first kit submitted for approval on the Unreal Store, Quarter 1 was busy. Drexel took up a lot of time during the entire quarter. I re-worked portions of my class to better focus on modeling and texturing fundamentals (WORTH IT). It ended up eating up quite a bit of time.
In January, I signed a work order to create a level for the Early Access VR game Shadowcore. Not long after I started, I was asked to polish up an existing level, which I went in and significantly improved the look of. That pushed the original work order from a due date of March to a rough due date of Mid-May. (If you’re interested in it, do check out Shadowcore. Just know it’s Early Access and that comes with a HOST of issues. Don’t expect Shadow of The Colossus levels of polish).
That mostly rounds out what I spent Q1 on. I did a little bit of writing for GameTextures and I finished up my Pots and Pans kit, but most of my time was spent on Shadowcore and teaching at Drexel.
- Hours Worked (Total Working Time): 468.54
- Billable Hours: 388.96
- Average Efficiency: 82.9%
Anything from this year is, more than likely, NOT going to match up with what I did at Bluepoint Games last year. So instead of comparing year over year results like I have previously, I’m going to compare my quarterly income with my historical averages from 2014-2016, excluding 2017. Until another contract on the scale of Bluepoint happens, it’s an outlier.
% difference in income vs. historical averages: +27%
An incredibly strong January and a solid March led the way to my strongest open to a year yet, Bluepoint excluded. This is due to how I negotiated my work on Shadowcore, as well as handling a full class load at Drexel.
Q2 2018 is going to be a quarter that hearkens back to my days of hustling in Boston.
Initially, I was set to teach a full class load again at Drexel. However, at the last second AFTER my adjunct contract was signed, they pulled one of my classes and gave it to a full time professor. I became a casualty of University Regulations. I still have two classes, but 30% of my expected income for the quarter needs to be made up.
The silver lining in all of this is that I can focus less on the University and more on my own business. I’ve been working some crunchy hours on Shadowcore, and that has to stop for a myriad of reasons. So I’ll be introducing “Dan Friday’s” to the mix. Much like Epic Games or Google, Friday will be the day where I work on MY OWN PROJECTS. This will keep me moving forward on my own content and goals related to that. Additionally, I’ll be working the Gametextures Blog back into my rotation of paid work. When I get crunchy, the blog tends to be the first to go. They have a few big things cooking over there, and the Blog needs to get back to doing what it does best: talkin’ about the industry.
I’ll reach out to some old contacts as well and ask if they have any small bits of work I can jump on to fill in some gaps…in addition to fishing for larger contracts.
Speaking of larger contracts, I will have to make a concerted effort in April and May to try and find large contracts for the summer, as Drexel is often in a slow period during that time.
This quarter is going to be busy.