One year ago, the Kickstarter for Fire and Flora had just come to an unsuccessful close, and I was on my way to CU Boulder, to try out an alternate pathway through the serious games world. I had thought to continue my work on game projects throughout the school year, but that turned out to be unrealistic. Getting to know a new town and a new state, as well as the demands of grad school, more than filled my time. Boulder was a mixed bag. I met some great people, survived a 100 year flood, and learned all sorts of interesting things about learning, but I struggled to stay connected with the people who were most important to me. At the same time, I was also struggling to stay motivated. After two years of nose-to-the-grindstone work, first at the NPS, then at Mindful Mammoth, I was kinda burned out. In hindsight, I should have deferred my entrance into grad school for a year. Fortunately, UCB has a generous program that allows grad students to take a year off, with few questions asked. So, I've done that. This summer, I worked half-time as a web-developer, and spent the other half camping, relaxing, and reconnecting with friends. I've got one more short trip planned - to see the new Exploratorium - and then I'll be getting back to more purposeful work. My half-time web job runs out at the end of August. So I'm looking for another part-time or full-time job to help pay the bills (programmer, data analyst, or game designer). I've also become more serious about learning Unity. At this year's Serious Play Conference (which I highly recommend), almost every speaker made the point that mobile is the coming Thing. I won't be abandoning my focus on physical games, but I will instead be raising my interest in digital to be on par with my interest in the physical. More specifically, I'll be working to develop complementary digital/physical products. This means having digital versions of physical games, and offering free digital tools to help players with modding of both digital and physical games. Continuing on with my plans, I'll be focusing on developing playable versions of the Puzzle of Life. I'm going to be a bit quiet on that for another couple months, but I hope to have a production-version of the base game available via print on demand by the end of the year. So far, I've been pretty poor on timelines. Almost every piece of every project has taken far longer than I expected. I'm getting better, but this will probably continue as part of my learning process. One thing that won't change is my push for quality. I think the biggest hurdle faced by the serious games industry is a proliferation of mediocrity. So few serious games have been done well that I think many folks now believe that serious games can't be done well, that serious games just can't be fun, and that's just not true. So, in the year ahead, I'll begin moving forward again, slow and steady. Stay tuned. Good things will come.   slow but good