Hello. Sort of new around here so I thought I'd try to get a handle on what makes some of you 'tick'. (sorry, this turned into a bit of a life story as well)
What would you say is your main motivation for doing what you do? Do you enjoy writing games, or are you doing it purely for financial reasons? Or are you somewhere between the two?
For me, I started programming in 1986 but only got serious about it in the early 1990s when I first started coding Amiga licenceware/shareware/public domain stuff.
Had my first game published in 1994 and got stung a bit, and self-published another game in 1997, just as Commodore/Amiga went belly-up.
In 2000, two years after moving to PCs, I took up coding again. I was working as a games tester for Gremlin Interactive at the time and loved anything to do with games.
I wrote a little game that was to become the first of ten published games between 2000 and 2005. I was doing games programming full time for about 18 months and this is when cracks began to appear. The games testing job had all but killed my enthusiasm for playing games, but now I found that I was beginning to hate writing them as well - the low point being when I was stuck in a London hotel room for an entire week with only my laptop and game code for company.
It wasn't so much the games-writing part I was beginning to detest, rather, the "couldn't care less" attitude of other people involved - and this was everybody from project managers right down to the people responsible for game assets and testers. I used to send them new builds pretty much weekly, or whenever I did something 'cool' that I wanted people to see. Hardly ever got a reply, and when I did, it was all negativity and things I *could* have been told about four weeks ago. That aside, I often found that testers would request that I change features, then in the next build, they'd request that I put it back to how it was in the first place! I felt my time was being wasted and I 'snapped' on numerous occasions.
I sold the rights to all ten of my games. I don't own one line of code, or one single pixel, and it feels like I've got not very much to show for five years of graft. I did make money out of it but it was very little for the work I put in.
Which brings me to why I'm here. After vowing never to write another game as long as I live, I've decided to continue doing it but for myself, relying on nobody else to get it done.
I have grown to hate the whole thing over time - the way the industry works, the way people in the industry are - but as soon as I've had a couple of months break, I realise there's still a lot of love there and I can't help going back to it. Its part love, part money that keeps me going back to it. I'd probably still do this if I won the lottery.