2014 Year In Review

Wasin Thonkaew
Dec 31, 2014 · 6 min read

A Reflection On Self. An Open-ended Honest Confession.

A couple hours before the clock ticks passing the year 2014 into 2015, this particular of time if go back in time several years ago, I didn’t do any review to reflect myself on performance or what should be improved. A true self was not fully reflected. I didn’t see any significant flaws. I didn’t see which direction I should be more concern in improvement. I didn’t. I didn’t do anything at all.

So shameful. It’s like a waste of opportunity for being clear with yourself. Years burned into ashes and are forever gone in history.

2014 is a proper time frame. An appropriate time window for several good and bad things that happened which are significant enough to trigger oneself to start sparing precious time to look inside to see what we have in hands, what we still miss, and where we should reach out getting hands dirty with color of mud.

Fortunate enough, I came across a blog post by James Clear (again as he’s one of my early independent writers I’ve dwelled down my heart with at the early stage), so I think I will emanate his format of annual review and let it live here.

What Went Well This Year?

Stay Strong And Be On Course Of Making Game

Despite the fact about security, and several multiple factors that cause depression, I still continue going on with what I love to do.
I just can’t trade this one major thing to another, it’s my soul that I need to protect it. Although, the success or the end path is not found just yet, but it’s okay. Along the journey, me and the team still hustle making it happen every single day. We step closer, a little more, and a little more.


I did a lot for community in the year past. I organized two major events of indie game developers and development meetup in Bangkok hosting one workshop, and one lecture sharing knowledge from local developers that attended GDC 2014 in San Francisco. Things went very well, and everyone was happy even the survey score reflected the quality of the meetup.

I also did interview local developer and posted video on youtube for the benefit of young minds that want to break into game industry. I made every move possible to leverage the enthusiasm in moving local industry and its career forward. Connecting with people is one thing that I love to do.

Personal growth

I risk for what I want. I do ask for what I want without the fear whether it will hurt or disappoint me at the end. Make it a meetup, a date, a help, or even a clearing point in conversation with friends or people in my reach. I kicked out my comfort zone by stepping away from things that attach me back there in my country, my home, in order to grow; that means I went to Hanoi to live unknown and as of this writing it’s 15th day of my stay until I get back on 9 Jan.

What Didn’t Go So Well This Year?

Slow In Making Decision, And Change It Often

This is the major flaw I admit it lives inside me. If you read Think Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, you will found the statement of great man which is defined by a willing to reach a decision promptly or immediately, and change it slowly but not a willing to reach a decision slowly, and change it often.

Decision can be a key factor of road-blocked that hinder self-growth and progression. It’s a great idea to follow the suggestion in above statement.

From time to time, there’re occasions that needs me to decide which direction I should be.

Should I drop it?
Should I quit?
Should I take it?
Should I pass it?

Questions go around for days, and I procrastinate it until it’s too late. Even I decided it, I would change my mind later whenever I see things are not in the right direction and other way would be better. This is not good, not professional. I’m trying to improve it right now.

Failed Relationship

I’ve broken up with my first love; my girlfriend back in May. Part of it was my contribution, but one hand cannot make a sound, sure did the other side contributed as well. I’ve lost my ground. I’ve lost my standard. I’ve come to be a one who gave in for anything just for things that might get back together. This experience taught me in the hard way. I’ve learnt from the failure. The most miserable event in the past year that taught me many life lessons.

Give The Best Of What I Can Provide

I didn’t. I didn’t give the extreme version of quality I should give to the work I need to get done. As for others, for the team to consume, it’s not the level I aim for. It didn’t pass my standard in certain ways. The number one enemy would be distractions, and procrastination that hinder the quality from the level it should be. I don’t think I did prepare myself well enough in time of peace to be the best ready version when the war ever comes. I need to improve on that. Time is my enemy. I often deliver the work late. Estimation of a certain task for two days could turn into two weeks. It’s annoying, and mistrusted.

Not Fully Believe In Oneself

I love idea. I love to start a new thing. I love thinking and pouring in possible solutions toward problem that could turn into a small or medium product which lastly could turn into a business. I didn’t trust myself fully. I stalled it all the time. Focus only in a game field; where my hands are on most of the time. It’s bounded and isolated. It didn’t move forward even though I knew a great, close and cool colleague to help. Chance is at the hand, but it would mean slipping away.

Still Rely On A Single Income Channel

I got financial support in making the current game. I knew one day I would love to be financial independent. I would love to do it solo. I would love to start anything that doesn’t need to wait on others. Right away from me. But still things get tough, and I limit myself to only one channel without expansion.

Passing Opportunities

I passed more than a couple of good opportunities to grow in game industry with the reason that I don’t have time to focus on them; which is true as I only focus on the game I’m making at hands. But when enough opportunity leaves your door one by one, and when it’s enough. You look back. If the thing you’re doing doesn’t satisfy you in returns, you have to make sure 100% that you’re all in and those opportunities didn’t die free.

What Am I Working Toward?

Habit / Discipline

I started to read more self-improvement books. I started to wake up at 4:00 AM. I spared an entire day for a reading-day-session without works, without the less, just me alone. I scheduled time for things that matter i.e. writing blog, acquiring new skills etc. I planned hours, days, and weeks. I started listening to podcast every time I start walking in the morning, and when I walk back from the co-working space I work on my game. I put habit and discipline on top making them as two key-points that will define outcome of things I’m trying to pursue. This probably summarizes it all about personal growth.

Learning New Skills

I’m trying to find time to acquire new skills I need in order to expand the possibility of creating a new business that it’s not only about game. Make it like a small web-based product, iOS / Android application, or even drawing / digital painting. I would love to be able to start things by myself without waiting for others. Only acquiring new skills would help, and I knew it at the first place that it would takes hours for you to gain your new craft.

Find Time To Start Small New Business With Colleagues

I keep telling myself that when I finish this then I’m going to have time to start another. But as you know, when your mindset tells you that you have to finish this one first, then it occupies time for the whole time-frame without any left for other projects (even side ones). If you ever heard such a phase about time allocated to finish such a project, if it’s allocated for one month, then it would take one month to complete. But if it’s allocated for one week, then it would take one week to complete.

That’s it for my annual review in 2014. A mix or both side of things preparing for the next. Things happened, grab lessons from it and learn them but keep that moment there, don’t take it with you to 2015.

It’s now time for a showtime.

Rise and Grind. Keep hustling. Make everyday be a killed day.
Hope you all the best for 2015!

Go back to work now …

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