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Tobias
3376 9 111

I Didn't Die

Posted by A Tobias 1 year ago
I'm currently recovering from brain surgery, which I had last week. Things like this shake up life a lot... but now that it's over for the moment (but not for good), I feel a bit lost. I've been trying to get back to games development, though, so I'd like to write a bit about that here.

It turns out that I do have a brain tumour, though they don't yet know what kind. I was told that it's probably one of about six different types, ranging from benign to malignant; I'll find out which type next week, probably. None of the possibilities are great, and I'll likely need further surgery - or at least treatment - whatever it is.

My biggest concern at this point is needing surgery soon, in which case I may need to drop out of university temporarily, losing what few social connections I made and having to spend yet another year by myself, getting older, only to return into a class of strangers where I'll have to start from scratch all over again. I honestly don't know if I could face that, on top of everything else. So I'm hoping that the tumour's not so serious that it needs immediate treatment... Though knowing my lot in life, it'll likely be the worst possible thing it can be.

The surgery I've already had was to treat the hydrocephalus that had arisen as a result of the tumour, rather than the tumour itself. Rather than being a 'cure' that made me feel better afterwards, it's made me feel much worse, at least for now, as you'd expect from having your skull drilled into and your thinking organ burrowed into by strange pointy things.

It seems they did need to burrow through my cortex, by the way, which has got me thinking a lot about what we even are. Neurologists divide the brain into regions known as 'eloquent' - which, if damaged, produce obvious deficits in language, sensation, perception, etc - and those that, well, aren't. They carefully select non-eloquent regions to travel through in order to get to where they need to operate, but what I wonder is what - if anything - those regions do. I still feel like myself, and I can't notice anything missing or off or wrong... Nothing I can put my finger on, anyway. But they must have damaged or destroyed millions of neurons, so it just seems bizarre to me that they had no apparent purpose. Is much of the brain simply redundant filler?

I'm amazed at how quickly I've recovered from the surgery. If I'd ever been asked how long I thought it'd take to recover from brain surgery, I would have assumed 'ages'. I'm not better just yet - and the visual distortions I had before the surgery are sometimes worse than they were before it - but I've got to the point (after much lying around in bed, feeling worse than I ever have) where I can do things on my computer again and wander around trying futilely to catch up to the world in Pokemon GO.

But now that I'm able to make things again, I'm not entirely sure what to make. I've felt sort of aimless for the last couple of days.

I found myself returning to Cultivate, that people-breeding game that started its life as Yden a couple of years ago. Perhaps it's because now that the 'thrill' of being in hospital is over, I'm all alone again, back with the familiar depression and isolation, trapped by anxieties that prevent me from seeking people out. So my mind - wanting to fill the emptiness with people in some form - turns to this pretend-people project, perhaps? I've done little of note on it, though, and while I feel I'm entertaining myself by dabbling like this, it's hardly the best use of my time.

I got an email from Greg of Kongregate recently, asking if I had any games I could upload there, even unfinished ones. Because of that, I'm planning to go through all my old projects and upload them both here on this site (likely on some kind of 'museum' page) and to Kongregate, even though most are disappointingly unfinished. I'm worried though that people might like them and get frustrated that I haven't finished them, angry when I say I won't... I've been there before. But it's unlikely that I ever will finish any of them because I feel I've moved so far, mentally, from where I was then.

I may however at least tweak some to make the missing features and assets less obvious or annoying. Dummying out content rather than including it half-finished, including comments to make it clear the game will never be finished, that kind of thing.

I can't imagine they'll get good ratings if they're so incomplete, but things like this don't really matter all that much to me anymore, what with my brain tumour and isolation making everything else seem miniscule and meaningless by comparison. I wonder though whether Flash game sites like Kongregate are dying anyway... I imagine that's why they're reaching out to developers of the past like me. But I don't know. I'm out of touch.

I wonder what happened to those developers who released popular things at the same time as me... Not that I ever knew them. I've always kept to myself. A shame, that. If only my mind didn't trap me as it does.

Considering the things that are important to me, I keep thinking about Soulmate. I'm still very interested in making that. I just need to sort out the story still, and that feels like the hardest part that my mind hasn't been in the right state to deal with recently. I'll hopefully return to it before long, though.

I also played around with Taming Dreams this morning, for the first time in probably months. I still love that game... There's so much that I'm very proud of. I cringe too, though, at the awkward and sometimes pretentious dialogue and memories of the negative comments... But it's still dear to me, holds a special place in my heart, and I'd like to return to it one day, perhaps. If technology and trends don't change too much, that is. I wonder whether the overwhelming success of Pokemon GO will change the way that games work. I've actually had a few ideas myself for similar games, in line with my ideals... But they're little more than faint fog, poorly defined. Perhaps I'll refine them over time, though as a side thing at best.

So basically, I know I 'should' upload my old games, but I'm in no hurry about that. I'll get to it soon, though, I hope. I'm also playing around with Cultivate, though that's mostly a form of 'productive procrastination' rather than focused work. Inspirations for Soulmate swirl in my head, and I'm sure they'll crystallise into something usable in time. And I'm still alive, for now. Just trying to get back to some kind of normality, whatever that is.

Thank you, by the way, to those of you who've left nice comments recently. I always read them even if I rarely reply, and I appreciate them more often than I say. Though I'm very much an insular person, I wouldn't still be doing what I do if not for the social support of 'strangers'.

Thanks especially to those who've ever supported me through Patreon, especially those who still do. I'm genuinely sorry I'm quite poor at keeping up with things, but your support helps alleviate one of the worries I have in my life, and I appreciate it immensely. Thank you.
111
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on 9 Roots

9 Comments

19 Poland ESTP LSE 1w9 SxSo RES CholericPhlegmatic
Popcioslav
0
Sorry that I just came back to this place and not sooner.

I'm so glad to hear you're alright man. Please, do not give up. If you can still talk to us we would definetly appreciate it, but if not, we will understand.

I know I never talked much before, either on this site or on the one from the past, but you and your work helped me go through the worst times of my life.

Just please, take care of yourself prior to anything else. I wish you slow recovery.
20 United States
Qazerowl
1
First off, I'd say that even if you need more significant treatment, you can still stay in touch with some of your classmates/friends/acquaintances!

I think uploading lots of your unfinished stuff is a great idea! I'll admit to snooping around for flash files back on fighunter, and I enjoyed pretty much every game I played. Really, I wished you released the alphas of the games you never released. Without a doubt, you will get harassed a bit to finish those games. But who knows, maybe if one seems to attract a lot of praise you'll be inspired to work on it? I dare say that between the old assets and new engine you have, a spark of inspiration may allow you to finish something (for once :P)!

I haven't checked up on this place or fighunter in two years. It's interesting to see all of what you've done since then right now, as opposed to in real time. I can't believe you're going to college! And while it's unfortunate that you're not in perfect health at the moment, maybe removal of the tumor will have a positive impact on your mind/emotions?

I hate to say it, but you of all people probably wouldn't be quick to judge: I've missed being a part of your following.
19 United States INFJ 4w5 SanguineMelancholic
Macheman7
1
I'm fairly glad you didn't horribly die due to brain puncturing.
16 Pakistan
QualityGamingYT
2
Hope you get well soon i also had health problems when my mother passed regardless hope you recover soon and push yourself rest a little (you're a great game developer but sometimes you over do it)
25 Australia
Auphen
4
I'm so sorry to hear about all of this. I've struggled with a lot of health problems in the past also, including one which seems to have either ended or stagnated my career as of now, and am looking at future operations also. It really gets me down, some days, though I try not to mention that too much out loud to anyone since it doesn't seem to help.

You're dealing with this about as well as anyone could be expected to. I hope that it's benign, like the vast majority of tumors turn out to be... and I wish I could send a hug, if it was welcomed.

I come back to catch up every so often on what's happening with new games, since they're generally lovely ideas, and with you. I've never been very good at writing out anything that I felt, since I'm painfully aware that a lot of what I think is not special or particularly interesting to anyone if I were to write it out, but the way you write it and your level of self-awareness is more interesting than anything else.

Here's hoping that you get good news as soon as possible.
21 Czech Republic INFJ EII 451 SoSx RLuAi SAI MelancholicPhlegmatic
Anhelm
4
Oh, thinking about which parts of our bodies do truly contribute to our real ourselves, that's something I've experienced briefly as well. It can become haunting, maybe unsettling, even if one doesn't have such a serious concern.

I can hardly imagine what you've come through or what may be awaiting ahead, and thus, it's hard to find something appropriate to say. I would like to express my compassion, though. I think about you often, with hopes of the best.

If you decide to share your old games, I will be interested in playing them, I am sure of that. As for those I've had chance to see, every of them has been like more or less explicit demonstration of you and your personality. Literally each time I return to one of them, I discover a little bit, a sentence I've missed before or such, which make me think 'Yes, there must be a relation to the man I've been getting to know for all that time.'

Also, I'm glad to hear the comments here have really supported you in your life. Knowing it make me secretly hope I succeeded in saying something good in the past as well (it has been long time since I did so for the last time, though.) And I should give you my thanks, too, because having all those opportunities to speak to you like this has been always meaningful to me.

I'm just not sure if, after all I've read about you and your life, I can consider you an Internet stranger still...
28 United States
HpMunchcraft
3
Glad to hear you're ok!

I would definitely like to see the unreleased content, even if it is unfinished/unpolished. I found this site while on a MARDEK nostalgia-kick, and was poking around looking at old posts/projects. It looks like you have a lot of good ideas even if they won't ever be finished. The RPG creator looks particularly good.

This doesn't have much to do with anything recent, but I'd definitely buy a flash or mac version of the first chapter of Taming Dreams (and more if I like the first one) if one ever came out.

Good luck with your condition and school! You may want to see what the rules are for a medical leave of absence, and whether the school will let you audit classes (basically taking lectures without tests or getting credit for the class, but it would help you learn and keep up with people).
17 United States
MaxDestruction
3
I feel bad for not commenting more often; I've been traveling a lot and during the brief moments that I have wifi it usually loads website pages too slowly to use. Well, I'm really glad that that the surgery went well and although you might have a tumor, know that it will go well and you have the support on everyone here :). Good luck with what's up to come!
17 Belgium CholericSanguine
Monogenic
3
Glad to hear that you're fine though! Although it must be really hard for you right know... Know that you have all the support from all your fans! But the fact that you still feel lonely is quite sad to me :/ .... But maybe you can start doing something like vlogging on youtube, that should make you feel less lonely since you then can really communicate with people in a way you don't have to talk to them in person... Or... something like that, also, maybe you should start replying on the comments here on Alora Fane, which should strengthen the relationship between you and your fans... Anyway... Remember that the people here on Alora Fane care about you, and most important, support you cause you are a person, and every person is just like somebody else, and should be taken care of, should be loved. Don't give up dude, you're worth it!