I've agonized over weather or not to make this post (as I turn the trivial into a marathon) --- for a while I couldn’t quite figure out what I was trying to do, but I finally admitted to myself that I just wanted somebody else to know that this current dream of mine to create indie games is now dead. That is, I’ve ceased all my independent development efforts for the indefinite future. It is a sad thing, but its not as I’ll explain in a sec.
I said ‘dead’ but titled this post ‘on hold’ – A little history explains my thinking: I wrote my first computer game in 1978, and never really stopped. I sold small quantities of three 8-bit games I had created in the early 80s. I submitted games to magazines such as Softside and Antic, but was never published. In the late 80s I did some multi-player games for a networked BBS. In the early 90s with the shareware scene, I tried again to make the game (system) I envisioned, but got sidetracked developing technology (successfully I’ll add), but not the games themselves.
Over a year ago I took the plunge again, taking all I had learned to make my most serious effort yet. I went through the stages of determining what I really wanted to do and why I wanted to do it, building what I thought would be a realistic plan and getting down to work on it in between working contract to pay the bills As you can see, between each of these efforts there has been a period of years. So I think… no, I know, that someday I’ll try yet again, but I cannot guess as to when that will be.
But please don’t shed a virtual tear for me. I’m giving it up because I was offered an opportunity I couldn’t refuse.
I was posting daily here until late summer, when the contract I working on (for a game that may not ship it now seems) shifted into crunch mode. Self-discipline required giving up all non-critical surfing and posting. That finished a couple months ago, and after a short break, I got back to work on my game project, though I didn’t get back to posting here.
So there I was minding my own business when a very successful local game developer called me up and said “Could you come to work for us and lead up our new effort to make games for the smaller consoles? (psp, ds, live arcade) You’ll have a team, a budget, lead the coding effort, and help manage and design the game. And you’ll get a piece of the action too.”
Well, obviously it didn’t happen exactly like that, but the result is the same; I’m going back into the industry full-time, and with this higher level of responsibility this time, I’d be kidding myself to think I could keep this effort going. Before as a contractor, I only needed to work 6 to 8 months to pay for a full year, allowing me to work full time on it when I wasn’t contracting, as well as when the contract was slow. Now, this new position will take all I've got and maybe a bit more.
I’ve met some really great people here on the forums, locally, and in person at the conferences (GDC, CGC, AGC). Many of you impress the heck out of me, and I still wish that I could travel this road some more right now.
And I guess that's the thing about life – I will pass on more things that I really would like to do than those things that I will manage to do.
Flame away if this is overly indulgent, commiserate if you know the feeling, educate if you see what I do not.