I remember, still quite distinctly, one particular moment in the December of 2002. My job wasn't what it once was, and I was starting to contribute more into some random open source projects. I wanted to see what game engines "looked like," so I downloaded the developer documentation for CrystalSpace on my (now destroyed) iPAQ. It was December however - and of course I had to do a blitz of Christmas shopping.
While walking all over the mall's green turf, I tried to read the CrystalSpace HTML docs. Finally I took a break and crashed in a lounge chair inside a Von Maur and poured through half the pages I had sync'd. It was in that chair that I was first turned on to CrystalSpace's automagic "smart pointers." When things finally clicked about factory design patterns. When I finally saw how platform-independent file mounting could work. Things largely fit into place for the first time in my head, and a rush of Computer Science courses that were starting to leak out of my brain finally kicked into place. It all weirdly made sense.
I still think of that December of 2002 whenever I pass by that chair. Last year, before I aged another decade, I provided myself with a crap-or-get-off-the-pot objective: to finally have a working game out by February of 2007 or otherwise just give up the ghost. While I did some extensive hacking, spent a lot of late nights and tried to do it, in the end I just wasn't able to produce the goods. I have a partially completed project out there, but in the end I wasn't able to make it happen. I finally gave up the daydream.
I passed by the chair yesterday and thought about how fall was coming soon. Christmas shopping season. And how I'm not going to be perched in that chair pouring over docs anymore.