The weeks are too short, the mornings too dark. On the other hand, the colours out there are great, and we are getting some of that autumn air and sunligt I love so much.
And, of course, that classic autum feeling of slightly too many things going on at once. I am fortunate that pretty much all of them are good, but I still need to get better at finding moments to breathe.
I am prodding my personal productivity system rather hard at the edges as well, feeling there should be more I can do in various ways to feel more on top of things, and hopefully also more relaxed as a result. I keep thinking about doing a Kodsnack episode about it, but I have not yet found more people interested in discussing the topic. I might actually do a solo episode, because I think I can take a while to go through it all, and I think I would get a lot out of it just from talking out loud. (Listeners will hopefully get something out of it too, and if they do not I trust them to tell me what I should do differently the next time.)
I discovered Townscaper sometime early last week. Developer Oskar Stålberg describes it as more of a toy than a game, and I can wholeheartedly agre with that while also stating that it is the most fun and relaxing game I have played in a long while.
How much do I like it? So much that the day it became available on IOS (when I discovered the game it was only available on Steam and Switch) I sent it as a gift to three people, getting extremely enthusiastic responses back from all of them within minutes.
I also happened to mention it in an episode of Kodsnack in such a way some listeners jokingly (I hope) wondered if I was getting paid.
So, what do you actually do in Townscaper? You place down blocks in the sea. A block at sea level becomes ground, a block on top of another block becomes a building. You can pick from a nice range of pastel colors for your building blocks.
In a way, that is all there is to it.
All the rest is details. Details which make it the wonderful experience it is. The main source of discovery and wonder is how blocks affect eachother. Contents of adjacent blocks affect how a new block appears. As a basic case, if you place two blocks of the same colour next to eachother you get a single building two blocks wide. However, if they have different colours you will get two one-block buildings very close together. Another basic case is that a building one block wide will have a slanted roof, while wider buildings get a flat roof, ready to become a courtyard for higher buildings.
It goes on like that, with a huge variety of details to create, all based on what exactly surrounds the block you just placed. There are posts out there trying to map all the possibilities, and I would not be surprised if there are still undiscovered ones.
The screen space of an Ipad is of course great for taking in more of your city, but it works surprisingly well on the Iphone's much more limited space too. Which means I never have a reason to reload random web pages or get stuck in Twitter whenever I have downtime. Now I can relax and place a few blocks instead, trying to get more birds to appear, create a medieval town center, or what have you.
Autumn needs more like this.