- Nico Prananta
At the end of 2018, I summarized the year as the year of gaming and traveling for me. In 2019, I traveled as many times as in 2018, but I played more games! I didn't draw as many times as in 2018, but I read more books than before.
This year I was still lucky enough to be able to travel to Japan few times to appreciate sakura on April, to enjoy the summer at the beach in Shirahama, and to celebrate end of the year in Kobe.
I also went to Indonesia few times to meet my mom, to catch up with my college friends, to restock my food supplies 🙈, and to start a new (second) job in a startup in Indonesia (remotely!).
I participated in several Pokemon Go events too: Pokemon Go Fest in Dortmund, Pokemon Go Safari Zone in Singapore, and Pokemon Go Fest Yokohama. While I really enjoyed Singapore and Yokohama event, the event in Dortmund made me not wanting to go to any Europe events anymore, thanks to the ridiculous security measure and the high number of smokers.
The highlight of 2019 travels was definitely my trip to WWDC 2019. It was my second WWDC which was 6 years after my first one. This time was different because I met many fellow Indonesians! They were mostly students who were so much younger than me. I was impressed.
This year, for some reason I managed to read more books than I thought I could. Not all books I bought I could finish however. Skin In The Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life by Nassim Nicholas Taleb was one of them. While it has interesting tidbits, it's quite difficult to read in many parts for me. Permanent Record by Edward Snowden is another book that I couldn't finish. I got bored reading it after few chapters. It is dragging the story of his childhood too long for me. As someone who didn't grow with computers and technology, I just couldn't relate with the way he romanticised his childhood.
On the other hand, there are more books that I could finish because I found them very interesting. The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli was fun to read because I always find the concept of time fascinating. I bought Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There by Rutger Bregman after watching Rutger Bregman's viral video in Davos. It gave me new way of looking at the world. I bought Winners Take All - The Elite Charade of Changing The World by Anand Giridharadas after watching an episode of The Daily Show where Trevor Noah interviewed Anand Giridharadas. This book gave me new insights about the world of the super rich and how they are bending the world to their own will. After finishing Anand Giridharadas' book, I went for my last trip of the year to Japan. While waiting for my flight in Amsterdam Schiphol airport (best airport in Europe so far for me!), I saw Moneyland: Why Thieves And Crooks Now Rule The World And How To Take It Back book by Oliver Bullough and decided to buy and to read it on the plane. I am half way through it and I enjoy it so far. It taught me how the super rich can stay rich and become more rich at the expense of many people. 😠
I hope I can read more books in 2020!
Nintendo Switch has many amazing games in 2019! And I tried some of them. The Switch games I finished in 2019:
- Valkyrie 4 Chronicles: tactical RPG with anime-style artwork. Love it.
- Pokemon Sword: I don't care what haters say, but I really love this pokemon game for many reasons: surprise trade, online max raids, tons of character customizations, wild area, and online battle!
- Ringfit Adventure: this game is phenomenal for me because it makes me enjoy exercising! 💪
- Astral Chain: I had been eyeing this game since I watched the trailer and thankfully the game didn't disappoint. I am so impressed with the art of the game, enjoy the game play, and love the story. The art book included in the limited edition is beautiful.
The Switch games I tried but did not finish:
- Torna The Golden Country of Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Didn't finish this game because I got distracted by another game, I think it was Pokemon Let's Go.
- Bayonetta 2: Didn't finish because the fighting is pretty tiring 😂
- Super Smash Bros Ultimate: The reason I didn't finish the story mode, World of Light, is because I got distracted by the online battle mode. Even though I lost many times, the victories against other players are so addictive.
- Pokemon Let's Go: Pikachu: I managed to get all the badges but I didn't fight the elite four yet.
- Fire Emblem Three Houses: I got this game because I was attracted by the artwork. After few hours of playing, I was not hooked however. But this game is on my top of the list of games I will definitely give another try.
- Final Fantasy VIII Remastered. I loved FF VIII. I played it twice before. I couldn't finish it this time because I got lost. I couldn't find my way back to the garden ship 😂
The Switch games I bought but haven't played:
- Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout: I really love how Ryza looks 😍
- Zelda: Link's Awakening: Also love the artwork of this game. My wife has started playing it.
- AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES: The artwork also intrigued me.
- Our World Is Ended: The color of this game ❤️
In 2019, I still listened to mostly japanese songs as shown in my Spotify 2019 Top Songs. I really love songs from Mrs. Green Apple, Official HIGE DANdism, and Aimyon. Not included in this list is songs by Hirai Ken, because for whatever reasons, his songs are not available in Swiss Spotify. 😞 I really like his new song, #302.
As I mentioned earlier, I joined a new startup in Indonesia called Hyperjump which is lead by Ari Awan and Ariya Hidayat. It's a consulting company with clients from big companies in Indonesia. So far I enjoy working there: I can work remotely from Basel, work with other Indonesian developers, work on apps with huge user base, and I can open source some of my works, even encouraged! We just open sourced a React component that we uses in our client app called universal-update-checker.