I’m on the ICE from Brussels to Köln right now, after a month in the United States and a weekend in London for AdventureX. Soon I’ll be changing trains and returning to Berlin, where I’ve been living for the past year after marrying my EU national partner. GodotCon was unfortunately the same weekend, in Munich. This is sad for those of us with overlapping interests in interactive fiction and free and open source software.

AdventureX happened after my first month back in the US since moving to Germany. I visited and got to catch up with friends in Boston and New York, who I sadly am unlikely to see in person very often for the foreseeable future. I’ve been happy with my new city and my partner (we got married after seven years of dating and not being able to visit for more than a few months at a time), but it’s an enormous culture shock. I took two semesters of German in college but have had to learn the language almost from scratch since moving, and have very little opportunities to practice it. Most people in Berlin speak English well (except for one immigration officer). I’m hoping by the end of the year I’ll be able to have simple conversations in German without embarrassing myself, but getting up to speed is taking time and effort.

I don’t expect to be back in the US until next summer. I am trying to figure out how to maintain connections with friends and loved ones there while still making an effort to engage with my new home.

I’m working on three games right now; one that I’ve been contracted to work on by one of my awesome American clients; one with friends; and one on my own. The solo project is the hardest to take seriously. Much of my time is getting eaten up by learning German (I am hoping to be B1 by the end of the year but it’s iffy) and by depressive fugues from stress and isolation. I am hoping to have a demo I can show off by next year, but I’m not ready to talk about it too much just yet. It’d be cliché to say that life has been more of an adventure than I signed up for, and I’m ready for things to settle down and learn to emit more light.