It's been a long time since my last post here. Quite frankly, I've been struggling a lot recently with crippling depression... which isn't new for me, but which was certainly worsened by finding out that I have a brain tumour. I don't want to say that I've given up being creative; I've spent such a large chunk of my life making things that I can't imagine not doing that anymore. But making games alone is hard and potentially fruitless work, and my failure to connect with other people is really getting in the way of everything.
I've been meaning to write a post here for ages, but what finally spurred me to do so began as a random whim that made me check the site of Homestuck, which I found interesting to follow back when it was most popular - largely because it's interesting observing the methods and ideas of another creative person - but which I never saw the ending of because other concerns became distracting.
I remembered years ago there was a very lucrative Kickstarter campaign set up with the aim of developing a Homestuck-based game, though I've fallen out of touch with pretty much everything recently (I only barely know that Trump won an election), so I hadn't heard anything else about it. There was an announcement on the Homestuck site about it though, so I checked it with eager interest.
On the Steam page for the game, I saw ∞ this discussion thread ∞
, which was interesting for a few reasons. One was that it reminded me of my own time spent in online discussions, and the way people interact; it's been years since I last did that though, and I feel quite detached. I rarely talk to anyone these days. But also, people spoke of some kind of fiasco involving Andrew Hussie - Homestuck's creator - basically having the Kickstarter money swindled by the development team who were supposed to be making the game, and him not even being involved much in its creation. Surprising; this was the first I'd heard of this.
I found this comment in that thread... interesting:
"This is why you don't give a depressed internet crybaby two million dollars to make a video game."
I don't know much about Andrew Hussie as a person, but I imagine the fans would, and that comment made me curious about what he's like, what his life and mind are like. I always assumed he was a fairly hardy ENTP
(wow, it's been a while since I've thought about people in terms of their Myers-Briggs type).
But more than that, the way that that naive, eager enthusiasm to magically transform money into a good game, and quickly (it was originally slated for a 2014 release, later changed to 2015, then 2017) instead led to litigation, shifting plans, and delegated responsibilities makes me think about the huge gulf between our creative dreams and the dirty reality of actually making those dreams come true.
I also remember recently reading ∞ this Cracked article ∞
, where the writer talks about his own experiences making a mobile game. I won't bother to reiterate what it says because it says it better than I can, but it's all very familiar to me from my own experiences making Taming Dreams, and it doesn't exactly fill me with hope. It's worth a read to better understand the games development process, especially from the indie perspective.
In short, making games is very hard, and marketing them is even harder. I just don't feel that - at the moment at least - I'm psychologically well enough to manage that. I really need to get my life sorted out first. Find a secure place to stand, mentally.
A lot of creative types get their best ideas during dark times, turn their bad experiences into art, so I'm constantly thinking about how I can do that with mine. I imagine I'll come up with something.
If you're interested in my work or me as a person, I thank you for your patience, and your support if you've ever given that. I'm a difficult person and my life is a lonely struggle - one I think about ending far too often - but the comments I've got from people about how MARDEK made a difference in their lives are what keep me going, and help me feel like I've done something worthwhile with my life and possibly can again one day.
For the meantime, I'm writing about my personal thoughts and struggles in ∞ my blog ∞