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.