October 2018: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year Edition
Tetchi’s thoughts and ramblings for October, 2018. Sports, legalization, video games and more.
Stuff that happened
October is my favourite month. The temperature drops to a nice 10-15 degrees, the leaves start to change to a beautiful red-orange-yellow hue, and most importantly the NHL season begins. This year we were also blessed with an epic UFC fight, the release of the much-anticipated video game Red Dead Redemption 2, and the legalization of weed.
October was a really good month for sports. The Leafs had a decent start to the season, finishing the month with a 8-4-0 record. The only shitty thing was that my boy Auston Matthews got injured near the end of the month. This totally blows because I love watching him play and he’s by far the best player on the Leafs. I’m hoping for a speedy recovery for the kid.
The UFC fight between McGregor and Khabib was absolutely insane. It was a really hyped up fight as both fighters are amazing in their own ways and there’d been a lot of bad blood between the two. We all lost our minds when Khabib choked McGregor out and during the ensuing shenanigans. Best UFC event I’ve seen, hands down!
In mid-October we went on a weekend cottage getaway to Mont Tremblant with a group of friends. We rented a cottage right by the lake where we spent the weekend drinking, playing boardgames, and making tasty meals.
One of the highlights of this trip was the hike up Domaine Saint Bernard. The fall colours were beautiful and the view of the hills was breathtaking. Near the top we were greeted by a friendly group of chickadees. I put a bit of grass on top of Kylea’s head to see if they’d fly on top of her head, and lo and behold, it worked! One-by-one they would land on her toque, making for some sweet photo-ops.
Finally, a great event occurred on October 18th; Canada legalized marijuana! In a world where weed is still seen as a dangerous, evil drug, it’s unreal to see it legalized here at home.
The SQDC (Quebec’s government-run marijuana shops) were having trouble keeping anything in stock so unfortunately I haven’t gotten a chance to buy legal weed yet. It’s going to be so cool to look back to this day in 10 years and think “oh yeah, remember when weed used to be illegal?”.
It really is awesome to see Canada be on the forefront of weed legalization and I hope other countries follow suit in the future.
What I learned
This month I continued to learn more React, TypeScript, Jest, and GraphQL. I picked up a lot of techniques and best practices, and in the case of GraphQL learned a ton about queries and mutations.
To get myself up to speed I decided to do some extracurricular GraphQL learning. I found the free tutorial series below by The Net Ninja to be extremely helpful.
The content was exactly what I was looking for and the length of the videos were just right (informative, but not too long). The tutorials did a solid job explaining how to communicate between the Node server (backend) and the React app (frontend), which was something I was really curious about.
On a side note, I friggin’ love how some people put out videos like this for free. I felt like I’d be cheating him by not offering anything in return, so I made sure to send a little donation after I was done.
All in all I felt like I made some great strides in my FED journey and I’m happy to be getting more familiar with these new libraries and languages. Gotta keep the momentum going!
What I’ve been playing
Last month I picked up the new Spider-Man game for PS4 and I had a chance to complete it this month. I knew going in that I would like this game as it borrows a lot from Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham series, which I absolutely loved. I was stoked to finally play a AAA Spider-Man game as he is my all-time favourite superhero.
What I loved most about Spider-Man was the web-swinging mechanic. Zipping around the massive New York City map was so damn satisfying. The game offers fast travel between points on the map, but not once did I use it. Having just gone to New York City for the first time in August, I had a really fun time zippin’ around looking for famous landmarks. 🗽
My only gripe with Spider-Man was that the boss fights were too easy. With that said the story, the graphics, and the combat totally made up for it.
This month also saw the release of Rockstar’s new game, Red Dead Redemption 2. Red Dead Redemption 2
I’m only about an hour into the game but I love it so far. The graphics, the details, and the story are all amazing. My girlfriend is going away for work in November and I plan to play the shit out of Red Dead Redemption 2 then. Yeehaw 🤠
What I read
This month I read Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made by Jason Schreier. The book covers the development of ten video games and the many challenges the developers faced. It seemed like a miracle that some of these games ever saw the light of day!
I enjoyed reading about the games that I’ve played in the past, which were The Witcher 3, Stardew Valley, Diablo 3, and Destiny. It was cool to learn about the roadblocks they had to overcome such as technical difficulties, creative blocks, time constraints, publisher pressure, and more.
The story that stuck with me the most was the development of the 2016 farm simulator Stardew Valley. When I moved to Montreal a couple of years ago and wasn’t socializing much, I sunk over a hundred hours into this game. Little did I know that this addictive and insanely polished game was made by a single person. The developer, Eric Barone, did all of the programming, artwork, music, etc. all on his own! Reading about the ups and downs of Stardew Valley‘s development made me appreciate the game even more.
A common theme in the book was how a lot of video game developers go through an insane amount of “crunch time” where they work an inhumane amount (100+ hours a week) for as long as a year to meet deadlines. It was timely too as many articles had popped up about the insane amount of crunch that went into the development of Red Dead Redemption 2.
I’d read about this before in gaming news sites, but did not realize just how bad and common it was. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to spend every waking moment towards your work with no time for family or extra activities. I really hope the video game industry can overcome this in the future.
Blood, Sweat, and Pixels was a great read and made me appreciate video games even more. Every gamer should read this book.
If I could rate this past October I would give it a solid A+. Now off to smoke a bowl, go Canada! 🇨🇦