2023 Retrospective

Here we are on day 1401 of 2020 and it’s time to start things off with the quintessential and very controversial yearly GitHub contributions or commits chart.


Not good and not terrible to use the words of a wise man located more to the east from my location.

But on a more serious note, 2023 has been a pretty rough year all around no matter how one slices or dices it, and I feel like 2024 will continue to be the same.

I didn’t expect to have to face a financial crisis twice in a row in my natural lifetime, yet here we are. And, this one is just getting started! By time it’s all said and done, 2007 - 2008 will look like a nice and pleasant holiday with sunny and happy days.

It’s not all doom and gloom of course and I am most definitely not the one to beat the drums of the Apocalypse and trying to summon the horsemen by any means. On the contrary, I am just being realistic and preparing for the worst. Better be prepared than show the other cheek, that’s my motto.

Monthly Retrospective Archive

Just like last year, I continued writing monthly retrospectives at the tail end of each month, which you can find conveniently linked below. Just in case you have nothing better to do with your precious time.


Other Random Scribblings

In addition to my monthly scribblings, I ended up writing about some of my bite-sized-weekend-mini-projects.

FreeDOS and Floppy Bird / 2023-01-01
Creating normal maps from diffuse maps / 2023-02-07
Universal Scene Description / 2023-04-29
Branchless Line Drawing / 2023-06-25
Anaglyphs / 2023-07-08
Image Diff(erence) Viewer / 2023-07-10
Upscaling Pixel Art / 2023-12-05
Generating Voronoi Noise / 2023-12-06
Generating Noise / 2023-12-17
The VLC Xmas Hat Easter Egg / 2023-12-22

I already have some more of these lined up for early next year, in order to start things off with a loud bang.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

It should go without saying that my game of the year is undoubtedly Tears of the Kingdom. Which shouldn’t really shock anyone who happens to be a reader of this blog, as I posted about it quite heavily earlier in the year up to its official release.

I put around 85 hours or so into it, and I barely managed to scratch the surface.


Didn’t even start any of the main quests yet. Now, I know that many people just flew through it and called it a day, but for me a game like this is more like a spiritual experience, which you don’t just skim through.

Will be picking it up and enjoying it every now and then for at least a few hundred hours more, just like I did with Breath of the Wild back in the day.

Here’s a collage of footage I took during my exploits earlier in the year. No major spoilers, I promise.

Vampire Survivors Clones

I didn’t join in the absolute craze when Vampire Survivors first launched and won every single award possible out there. It’s just not in my style to jump head in, I like to let the dust settle a little bit before taking a look.

As expected, by the time I looked there were several clones laying around, which of course I had to check out as a good citizen of the information super highway.

Here’s a list of the clones or survivor-likes or bullet-heavens thatI spent various degrees of time with during the past couple of months. As per usual it will take a while before the great sages of the industry can collectively agree on the genre; until then, personally, I will just call them clones, just like we collectively used to call all first person shooters DOOM-clones in the early 90s.

Spirit Hunters: Infinite Horde

You can find it on Steam by clicking here.

Soulstone Survivors

You can find it on Steam by clicking here.

Death Must Die

You can find it on Steam by clicking here.

Halls of Tornment

You can find it on Steam by clicking here.

Army of Ruin

You can find it on Steam by clicking here.

Yet Another Zombie Survivors

You can find it on Steam by clicking here.


You can find it on Steam by clicking here.

Insect Swarm

You can find it on Steam by clicking here.

Tiny Rogues

While not an actual survivors-clone in the strict sense of the word, I still felt like including it in the list.

You can find it on Steam by clicking here.


Out of the bunch that I tried and listed above, Halls of Tornment is the one that got it pretty close and managed to balance things out, where everything felt fair and you wanted to try again, rather than feeling frustrated and making the entire game feel like a chore.

Balancing is no easy feat in any game that has RPG or RPG-adjent elements. Nerf too little or too much and you can end up frustrating the players, which some of the contenders found out the hard way; if you are brave enough to look at the “Community” sections on their respective Steam pages.

Stronghold: Definitive Edition

When the Definitive Edition was announced and then released it was one of the most unexpected things that have transpired this past year.

It just wasn’t something that anyone expected, I certainly didn’t. Now, let’s just hope that it sold well enough to recoup the costs and then some; and, with some luck we’ll see a definitive edition of Stronghold Crusader as well, which I am still playing to this day.

Based on the estimates by Gamalytic, it doesn’t look too shabby, I must say.


2024 .plan

While I usually try to stay away from new years resolutions as much as humanly possible for a person of my age and position; I thought that I’d throw together a few bullet points with things that I’d like to get to and/or complete in the next year to come.

Until next year, as server said: END OF LINE!