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May Update – A Return to Normalcy

May sees a return to normalcy but a significant increase in my real-life workload.  The focus of this late May update will be on the impact the pandemic has on things for the past few months.  I will specifically be focusing on the state of the website, the status of the EDCE tournament, and some personal impacts the situation has had on me and my plans going forward.

The Pandemic was a significant disruption to my life.  I don’t mean the closure of bars, shopping difficulties, or having to cancel my spring and summer plans.  I am talking about the complete 180 degree shift it caused within my profession and the toll it took on my family as I had to adjust to the new world order.

I’ll save the details of that for a memoir or something, but the most important thing to mention is the absolute stress it put on my wok life balance.  I spent March worrying that I can put al the fires out.  I spent April watching the world around me burn while I focused on the long haul.  May saw a moment of truth, and the light at the end of the tunnel.  Last week, many of my colleagues who have been buried, finally had a chance to come out into the sunlight again.

The Future of EDT

The pandemic leaves the future of EDT in question due to limited remote play options.

Our first topic of discussion was the interest in resuming the Empire Deluxe Tournament.  We are all in agreement that it should continue.  However, one major problem looms.  Empire Deluxe is not built for remote play which may be a reality for us going forward. In the past, this was easy to remedy since the tournament team was in similar locales.  This meant turn rotations were not a real factor.  Whenever we had a remote player, we were able to do instant PBEM through an internal network.  These factors, along had the need to play on a fully independent and untraceable mode, were critical components for keeping the tournament alive for 25 years.

The pandemic has seen our voluntary commitment become a mandatory one.  We have rotations to think about, family to worry about, as well as active work that keeps us busy during downtime.  We had no time to complete our quarterly preliminary match in March like we do most years.  This means we also didn’t do test runs on the newly generated maps.  While we plan to pick this up again for the semi-annual meet up, the challenges before us may mean no Annual EDT tournament in December.

On a brighter note, we are discussing the option of using the preliminaries as a test for the EDCE game launched in 2017.  Before the pandemic, this was more of a side conversation and not taken seriously.  However, the multiplayer capability may be necessary to keep the tournament alive.  The problem with re-makes in the past is their incompatibility with our system requirements.  We, as a group, are going to try and verify this during our downtime.  If it works, we may see a shift away from ED for this year’s tournament.  However, there will be at least one preliminary tournament on EDCE before we make that call.  Stay tuned on this one.

EDCE Update

Speaking of EDCE updates, I plan to get back into them soon.  EDIBLE has been very quiet in the past two months.  I saw on the forums there is a request for a new map script which I am more than happy to create.  However, I am in a month long stagnation on EDCE mods due to my renewed interest in the WTP mod and the changes I am making to it. I am on my last leg of changes to this old mod then I will move back into map scripts.  If anyone has a preference on what to work on next, let me know.

Site Update

Speaking of EDCE, more specifically EDIBLE, I have decided I am going to officially move this to a new domain.  I don’t know when, but it’s going to happen.  The main reason is my move to online gaming during the pandemic.  More people are probably familiar with my online name than my WoN identity.  As a result, I want to make this site available across multiple domains.  One of the problems I am having right now is the homographic title of this portion of the site which doesn’t work with the “resume” portion of my personal site.  You just gotta love the versatility of the English language.

This change will be gradual.  I will be changing the site links first, followed by changing the sub domain second.  Lastly, I will be making the site accessible through external sites.  These changes will be posted and I intend to maintain as much backward compatibility as possible.

Last Thoughts

The month of April was particularly hard for me.  I wasn’t ready for a situation requiring total isolation and secrecy.  Neither were many of my colleagues.  It was particularly taxing on my family who had to adjust to my changing situation as well as their own.  The best advice I can give to anyone who is listening is to follow my lead on this one point:

Actively improve your situation NOW.  I invested a lot of time and energy upgrading computer systems, microphones, video capabilities, and work environments.  I spent time mitigating my distractions, working out my work-life balance so it benefited my family instead of just becoming an annoyance, and became ready for any on-call requirements including creation of a full-on playbook.  It was rough, time consuming, and annoying back in April but the work I put into it has already paid back dividends.

I wouldn’t be writing this post today if my changes weren’t working.  Moreover, I wouldn’t be seeing a light at the end of this pandemic tunnel if I had been lazy and waiting for things to fix themselves.  Mark my words, the penalty for not doing this is far worse, even if you don’t see it coming yet.  I’m not talking about the virus, I am talking about the mentality shift about to change our working habits and burst the industry’s bubble.

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