2023 in review
2023 draws to a close. As I sit here, my partner and I are planning our New Year’s Eve dinner with friends. Before I can blink, it’ll be January 2024. A new year bearing a number that sounds like the setting of some sci-fi story. Akira set its futuristic dystopia in 2019.
But I digress. 2023 was an eventful year, filled with challenges and improvements.
At work, I spent the year helping clients with their frontends. I solved one particularly thorny issue for a client whose Angular app needed to collect data from several different microservices. I’ll have a long post about that one soon.
For my personal projects, I spent a fair bit of time rewriting this website in SvelteKit. Svelte was a joy to learn and even more to write. I loved building a full-content RSS feed for my posts and contributing to Svelte open source. I also figured out a neat trick to write even shorter Markdown image syntax using Remark.
I love the site. It’s reinvigorated my love of blogging, which I am trying to do every week. Nothing improves your writing more than doing it as much as possible. It’s been wonderful to reconnect to an old passion of mine.
Mute Chat required substantial infrastucture. Compiling a modern browser extension is an odd process that most tools don’t support out of the box. You have to compile four different pieces of the app, then bundle them in slightly different ways for each browser. I ended up open-sourcing most of what I wrote for Mute Chat as WebExtensionTemplate, a ready-to-fork template for modern browser extensions. It lets you quickly start writing an extension in Svelte or React. It’s decently popular - 27 forks and 73 stars as of writing. If nothing else, it’ll help me next time I have to write an extension.
This year, I played:
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone
- The Witcher 3: Blood & Wine
- Elden Ring (again)
- Advance Wars: Re-Boot Camp
- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
- Mass Effect 1-3 (Legendary Edition)
- Sea of Stars
- Resident Evil 4 (2023)
- Resident Evil 8: Shadows of Rose
- Super Mario Wonder
- Spider-Man 2 (PS5)
- Return of the Obra Dinn
- Resident Evil HD
- Final Fantasy VII Remake
Witcher 3 was fantastic to revisit. A phenomenal piece of writing. The RE4 and FF7 renames did the impossible and improved on classics. Return of the Obra Dinn was delightful, mobid and funny in all the best ways. The Mass Effect trilogy held up great on revisit - especially the first, which excels in ways I never appreciated as a teenager. 1 Elden Ring remains one of the best video games ever created.
Looking ahead to 2024, I can’t wait to play Persona 3: Reloaded and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. Those two RPGs and a little something I got in the Steam Winter Sale called Baldur’s Gate 3 should carry me into 2025.
I have too many thoughts about the movies I saw this year. That’ll be a separate post. For now, see my 2023 Letterboxd list.
After a long time not reading much, I started reading again. I used to be a huge reader as a kid. This year, I read quite a bit! You can see everything at the linked Mastodon thread.
This year, I ran my first half marathon! I completed the AthHalf in 1 hour and 42 minutes. Would never have tried it without encouragement and training from my local run club. If you have ever thought about running, I highly encourage joining a group.
Some friends and I also began duckpin bowling this year. It is silly and I love it.
For next year
I don’t usually set personal goals, but I hope next year will also be good. This year has had some promising parts, and I hope they’ll continue.
- My galaxy brain take on Mass Effect 1 is the bad combat makes the game better. It forces the story, worldbuilding and characters to carry the weight of entertaining the player. That’s far more interesting than doing combat rolls in ME3.↩