</2014> Annual Review


Every year on New Year's Day I find myself wondering how it was I actually spent the last trip around the sun. And then every year, several weeks or months after New Year's Day, I finally publish a blog post answering that question. I do it for the benefit of myself, but maybe you'll find something interesting here, too.






  • Curating locally made games for the monthly IGDA-TC Multiplayer Extravaganza events

  • Made an Attract Mode for the Local Game Screen at the IGDA-TC Multiplayer Extravaganza events

  • Demoed new HD WebGL Pixi.js version of Protoboros at Multiplayer Extravaganza

  • Ran training workshop “Level Up Your JavaScript” for the web team at a Minneapolis-based tech firm

  • Playing with Isomer.js

  • Got to be a middle school science fair judge! Awesome kids!!!

  • 10th year anniversary of graduating from college… crazy

  • Successful third year of running my business Zachstronaut LLC!


  • Family trip to Hawaii

  • I'm sure something else happened, too?


  • Some serious classic arcade fun with friends

  • Brief but nice visit from an out of town friend

  • Got engaged!

  • Annual camping trip with old friends






You know, looking back, 2014 was a really intensely difficult year for a lot of people. Some seriously under-addressed cultural issues were rearing their ugly heads for much of the year. I think the positive difference in 2014 was that these issues, specifically racism and sexism, were both named and actively discussed. "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." I feel like in 2014 we spent a lot of time in the "then they fight you" stage. I personally need to believe that means better things for 2015.

I also have to reconcile the overall cultural year that was 2014 with my own personal year. It was an intensely positive year for me at times. I got engaged to be married. My company Zachstronaut LLC successfully passed through its third year, and I've been able to prosper as an independent business owner and entrepreneur. My first commercial game release had its 25,000th player, and I started a new partnership with Tommy Sunders on a couch co-op multiplayer game I'm very excited about.

My level of engagement with the local Minneapolis / St. Paul web and indie game communities was at an all time high this past year. I continued to help run MinneWebCon with a team of wonderful people. I worked on growing the game dev community in town by helping to plan a new monthly IGDA-TC event with Martin Grider and Jerry Belich. Now our community gets together to play test each other's games as well as things that are under development around the world.

As for my 2014 predictions, I was definitely spot on in regards to partnerships and WebGL being big for me this past year. What do I predict and hope for in 2015? Well, more collaboration and more multiplayer games. I honestly expect to see more of not just WebGL but actual 3D in my work. Getting married also seems like a pretty safe prediction for 2015! (Man... wedding planning... am I right?) Hrmm, what else... Please, magic motivational fairies, let 2015 come with a redesign of my website! The cobbler's children really don't have shoes, do they? I'd also very much like to release the much pantsticipated conclusion to the Pantsylvania story line. I can already see that 2015 is going to a year where I have some very personal lessons in prioritization.

Ok, thanks for reading. Have a great 2015, and I'm sure I'll be seeing you around.