Sometimes I write stuff not about games.

Random musings, daily observations and other obsessions.

What Rob Ford has taught me about democracy
alpha_two
So with the inauguration of the new mayor, I think it's fair to say let's look back. For all the public blunders, the incompetency, the ignorance of many to serve the interest of the few, the city of Toronto has stayed in place and not burnt to ashes. No matter which side of the fence you sat, you have to agree that the system works. His goodwill promises and ability to execute before was what swept him into office because people voted and believed that he was a viable candidate, yet it is the same people that has lost faith in him that has voted him out now.

As much as you find issues with FPP or proportional representation, it's absolutely amazing that a) after the election, people do come together and work towards a common goal, even if it's not the candidate you voted for and b) in the case of Ford, as he alienates more policies, the checks and balances in the system also prevents him from doing major harm to the system. If he wants to go on his own will (which he tried), he still has to face all the constituents that voted him in.

You know what's amazing about this system? It works. The idea is that a person, no matter where they are from, can move into power if they gain the will of the people. It's how Ford got there in the first place. There's no worry that "anyone can stroll in" because they still need to present ideas and policies that people agree and believe in.

I think more than ever I believe in the idea that the will of the masses is correct, that voters aren't dumb, and if you give everyone the ability to vote, they will make the correct choice that best represents their needs.

My Two Lost Years
alpha_two
This may read like a previous post I've written before about quitting professional game development, but I think now I can be a bit more candid about what happened. You can read that post here.

The story of how I had left my last job has been retold by me countless times now, and it's starting to become this weird amalgamation of what I remembered happening and what had happened. Short summary: 2011, company was downsizing, asked me to stay, chose to leave because I didn't feel like the new direction was a good fit (social/mobile). What I had left out is the consideration on whether I should have stuck around and took the pay check as I looked to move on. I had enough people telling me that I was dumb for leaving a job that was still going to pay me, that I should have stuck around and continued to look for a job. I wanted out because I no longer believed in whatever products I would have been working on, and making social/mobile games for me in that capacity felt closer to immoral and against personal beliefs. In the grand scale of things, I would put it on equal footing as punching a baby (making social games).

For the last two years, I've second guessed whether this was the right call. I'm still very certain that I don't want to have anything to do with social games, but for a stable paycheque that lasted for another two years, a "stable" job does look more appealing in hindsight. I've equated to making social/freemium games to punching a baby in the face, and I still feel that is true for me. I do feel that the current slate of freemium/social developers are out to exploit and abuse player trust, and I'm just not comfortable working for a company working in that space. Even though I needed the money, my "game morality compass" tells me I should stay away. A friend had recently asked me what I would rather do: 1)a boring office job or 2)social games, and I was very certain that I'd do practically anything and everything before working at a social/mobile studio.

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After Koei, I dove head first into iOS. My reasonings for it was two-fold: 1)Learn a programming language/relearn programming and 2)maybe gamble on the iOS gravy train. At the time of downsizing (and the months following it), I had pitched the idea of teaming up with a few people (specifically, I would have needed artists and programmers) without any results. Everyone had different financial needs and goals, and I understand that it would have been difficult to ask someone else to commit at the same level of financial instability for a gamble. Using a poker analogy, my attempt at iOS indie development is the equivalent of going all in short stacked with an off suit 2 and 3: it was doomed to fail from the start, barring some miracle long tail effect on the store.

Now of course you can argue that my negative projections of how things went affected the end result, but I think I was being more realistic in the potential end result and not lie to myself about how everything was going to be ok. Knowing that I had to do both the programming and art on top of all other game development tasks means that my attention and resources would have been spread too thin. I can argue that I'll never have a boring day because I'm learning something new everyday, but learning something new isn't productive to producing a product that can generate revenue.

My "first" "game" Sometimes You Just Can't Win was a way for me to bring "closure" to my time at Koei (nope, it didn't), but more importantly, it was a testbed for all the tech and procedures for me to ship an app on the iOS store. Initially I had ballparked a completed ship date of 3-6 months, but the end result was an "incomplete" game that shipped within a year. It was definitely an interesting process, learning the limitations of what I can do from the art, programming and design. That project had taught me about how to scale the development properly, but it also had confirmed my suspicion that a one man team like myself on the iOS needed to have a dedicated programmer above all else, and there was really no way I can compete on both the art/tech side. The subsequent games that I've released were designed around such limitations, and while mechanically they're sound, they're not notable for them to be interesting.

Was iOS the right gamble? Yes. My number one goal was learning iOS development and a new language (and just general programming concepts), and game development was just gravy on top. At one point I had almost bought into the idea that "hey maybe I could hit the jackpot too" with iOS lottery, but let's be realistic, it was a huge gamble with almost zero payout.

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I hate to categorize the last two years as "wasted", but it honestly feels that way in retrospect. I think the tipping point for me was when I started considering what I've done in the past two years. People have gotten married, had kids, bought a house, grown up to be a responsible adult, and I've a shell of a company that shipped 7 apps. I'm not saying that those are the things I want, but it's pretty god damn depressing to see the "scale of progress". It was never about the money, but then it is about the money, and I can say that not having income for two years blow, no matter the type of satisfaction you can have with whatever you can achieve. I keep on thinking, and wondering how this all could have played out differently, and which steps I should have/could have taken, and I really don't know if I've made the right calls along the way. They all felt right at the time, but were they "right"?

Even before I quit Koei, I knew that this would have been a difficult path, and I was aware of the prospect of unemployment and the pressures it would bring. However, I still think I underestimated the stress and anxiety not having a job brings. Sure, I didn't have to worry about having a roof over my head, and I still had some savings that I burned away to chase a dream, but as the days dragged on, it worried me to not know what else will happen. I had the luxury and the option to spend time to chase down a career I wanted and a relatively good failsafe, but it still felt like a giant gamble and caused way too many sleepless nights. Over the last few years, you may have asked me how things have been going, and I would tell you things are fine: things couldn't be further than the truth, I'm not OK, and I haven't been fine for a while.

Now I know what you're saying: you technically were employed, doing your own game development, right? Well yes, and no. Sure, there was a "business" established, but I had all the downsides of running the business (trying to pay my own salary, pay for software and equipment, work a bunch of hours), with none of the upside of an actual job (you know, the actual pay part). I wasn't unemployed, but I was unemployed.

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Now I'm going to do a full NPR (or Freakonomics) and tell you about the upside of unemployment: Honestly, this streak of unemployment has taught me far more about myself, work, and life than I had expected. I'm not suggesting that you should go get yourself fired from your job, but I can't imagine anyone learn these life lessons without it. More importantly, this experience has given me a new perspective on "perspective": it had been far too easy for me to have always defined what is "right", and the same can be said for other people to tell me what I should have done given my situation; but a person's decisions and perspective is entirely based upon their past, their experiences and their analysis of those events. I'm not saying there's no wrong answer (and I'm pretty sure in hindsight, the last two years, I've screwed up in many decisions), but it's much harder to be objective and not skewed by the existing facts and experiences.

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I've rambled on far too long now: Having gone on far too long without pay has been demoralizing, but things are looking up. Let's see what this next chapter brings.

That nauseating feeling...
alpha_two
So, officially I've been looking for a job for a week, doing the usual "update linkedin, monster, workopolis", etc. And at the same time, I've been rapidly brushing up my programming skills, ramping up my interview stuff, etc...

…and at the same time, it's been a week of non-stop anxiety attacks. Every morning, I wake up dreading the numerous calls and interactions on things I don't want to deal with. Where do I start…

Recruiters: Some have been pleasant to work with, others, not so much. There's the "hey we need to fit you into a hole here, so just say yes"; and there's the one's that "butter you up" with "you're one of the best out there". Guys, let's not kid ourselves: if you don't understand the technology you're evaluating me on, how could you even make that statement? Do you know "XCode", "SDK", and "Objective C"? If you're breaking them up like that, I know for a fact you don't know what you're talking about already. Then can I even be sure what you're looking for matters?

Interviewing/Technical Tests: Maybe it's been too long for me since I had to do technical tests, but I don't know what the expectations for these things are anymore. My time of interview programming jobs within games has always scared me with the numerous technical questions, and all I can do right now is study up in an academic way. I know it isn't enough (and it doesn't feel like it), but I'm not sure what's left.



I don't know if it's an age thing, or that I just worry too much, but it's taking it's toll on me. Within the last week, I've lost my appetite, have been having trouble sleeping, and constantly panic when the phone rings. I'm not sure if there's a proper fix to this, but I don't know if this can go on any longer...

Career advise needed
alpha_two
So now that I'm actively looking for a job in any computing fields now, I'm stuck with a pretty big problem: what do I even qualify for? If you were to distill my actual skill set listing (along with years and time they were used, and how)

- Objective C (2011 - now) (2 Years) (self taught, published a mix of native games/apps on iOS)
- C++ (2007-2009) (2 Years) (mid-high level code implementation on game development)
- Java (2006) (1 Year) (application development for co-op work term)
- PHP/MySQL (2006-2007) (~2 Years) (personal website, custom CMS development)

Now mind you, this is a breakdown purely from a programming technical standpoint, and not actually the work history (which doesn't have that odd gap between 2009-11). But yeah, this is a scattershot of mix of technologies that doesn't really help me at all does it? I'm honestly struggling to look for job postings that aren't asking for 3+ years in some specific area that I can't exactly match, and every time I load up a page, all I see is disappointment of "well shit, can't do that". I can tell people all I want that I can pick up languages and technologies quickly (and learn it on my own), but that's not what companies seems to want to hear anyways.

Is it time for me to scale my expectation down? Is it too late for me to rebrand myself into something like Junior Programmer? I'm at a lost at this point. I don't know how or what kind of jobs I'm even looking for anymore, and these job categorization labels on sites like monster or workopolis almost always doesn't fit the bill.

Any suggestions or help, will be appreciated.

Quest Abandoned: Quitting Professional Game Development
alpha_two
Hi.

This is a post I sort of knew I was going to write, and for a thought to be stuck in your head for two years, it's going to be a giant mess of rambling paragraphs and ideas. So, to give you the tl;dr version: I'm done with looking for work within gamedev in a professional level now. It's been two years, I have to move on. I don't have a clue what to do next, but whatever this is right now just isn't "working" (yes, pun intended).(Yes, I'm open to options if you can give me any!) I am very thankful for my family and my friends for putting up with me in the last two years, which I had bummed around more than I should have chasing this mythical beast (and I'm well aware that this is a luxury that most can't afford to take). I don't know how I'll pull out of this, but it's time for me to draw the line and cut my losses now.

What follows below, however, is a much longer rambling set of thoughts on what the last two years has been, what's going on now, and what's next.

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I suppose I should start by also mentioning that the irony of posting this today is not lost on me. Today is the last day for the staff at Tecmo Koei Canada, and I sincerely hope you guys who are left have better luck that I did in landing something you want to do.
(Click here for the other wallpapers in 720p. :P )

Roughly this time two years ago, I was part of a group of downsized employees there. At the time, the company actually had offered a position for me to stay, with them refocused on facebook/social games. I had agonized about this for a good two days: job security is always nice, and I'm always interested in looking at all facets of game design from an educational standpoint, but I was never really keen on the idea of making one. More importantly, with the company moving away from console/handheld development, I fell short of what I wanted to do: be in the process of designing a game, from start to finish. With that in mind and knowing the risk of not being able to find something immediate, I had passed on the position.

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Since then, I've had interviewed/test with 10+ core game studios for various positions in design and programming. While all of them have ended in disappointment (or else I won't be here writing this), every one of them were an absolute morale boost, reminding me of why I wanted to do game design in the first place, and how much talent I had worked with each and every day. One test I was scripting AI, another one involved drawing map layouts, and another one had economy balance, weapon balance, etc. It was thinking in the box, out of the box, next to a box, blowing that box up, and it was both scary and exciting to be doing such tests.

In a way, doing these tests had confirmed what I had already known: as much as I'd like to think I know games and how things works, the lack of actual years of experience, along with actual hands-on years in development will always hurt me in the interview process. Having a series of big name studio closures doesn't help either, as every time I hear that on the news, I could picture my resume get shuffled further and further back in the pile behind more qualified candidates. Trying to explain to friends and family about how interviews went was a nightmare of explaining how you could potentially be a good candidate, but your skill set doesn't match the type of designer they're looking for.

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While job hunting within game dev was an ongoing process, I had figured that I should also spend my time making something. It's practically the template you keep on hearing when big studios close: splinter individuals either form teams or go at it alone in the indie market. With all the unpaid vacation days that I never took, I bought myself a Mac and started doing iOS Dev. For me, it was a good excuse to relearn coding of some sort, and it was probably a good way for me to "experiment with iOS" with ideas and test the waters. At the same time, I've developed an unhealthy addiction to Starbucks.

To date, I've shipped 4 apps and 2 games, with 1 still in the works. I'll be honest - I didn't think there was ANY chance I would make any of my money or time back. The odds of your game making it's money back, even if it's well produced is heavily reliant on the right type of marketing and word of mouth, so, what are the odds of a game designer who can barely code, with no way to pay an artist, programmer, audio, and PR make a breakout hit now? Sure, you've heard of the success stories of these one-man teams who've done breakout hits, but is that even feasible now with the current market, or are you more likely to lose your shirt when betting the farm.

More importantly, sitting here looking at how I approach my version of indie game development, I've come to the conclusion that I don't fit in that "indie" game model either. The indie games that takes on success and finds an audience are games with grand ideas or thematic structures, games that are all too ready to jump out there and scream to the world "this is what a game can be". The type of game design I approach is a much more mechanical, much more traditional way of design: I don't care about sweeping ideas and visions, but rather what makes it fun and engaging, and analyzing the numbers and models behind things. An "indie" game has a design shelf-life of forever: it's a fresh and original look on an idea without a time compromise (as an example, look at how long Fez has been in the works), the games and mechanics I design has a shelf-life: if I'm building on top of what's come before me, I need to be done before someone else also builds on top of that. Note that I'm not saying one is better than the other, but I am recognizing that there is a difference in the two, and my type of design isn't suited for "indie" like games, and it needs more resources for me to scale up onto the iOS market.

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So, this brings us back to full circle: Freemium/Social games. In the last few months, I've really started thinking about whether I should even apply or approach these studios. What's nagged me most about this is whether I want to even bother with these games in the first place. I tell everyone I meet the one and only rule I had with game design: You need to play the types of games you make, and I was this close to breaking that rule. I appreciate people coming in with different skillets and different backgrounds to any large scale development, and it usually makes for a stronger product when taking input into account, BUT, the person who's closest to the core design decisions should also be the someone who care speak for the target audience of the game. I can tell you for a fact that the only Freemium/Social game that I've stuck with in the long run was Pocket Planes/Tiny Towers, only because they don't behave like your typical Freemium/Social games.

Now I understand that F2P game are here to stay, and I certainly agree that the likes of TF2 and LoL makes a very compelling case that F2P does work, but those are the fringe cases in the sea of "farmville clones" out there that I want no part of. To me, most people and studios approach Freemium/Social game right now in the gambling casino model of harvesting whales and toy with the human desires of virtual goods to fulfill "needs". Are these addicting mechanics? Yes! Are these "game mechanics"? No! Games can be many different things, it can be expressive, it can be skill based, it can be analytical, it can be competition; Freemium Games, and at least the bulk of the studios out there right now, approach it as a money tree, where money decisions drive "game design decisions" of "wait 6 hours, or pay us now". It's not the type of games I grew up with, it's not the type of things I want to make when I said I want to make games, and it's definitely not something I want to be a part of.

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So, why quit professional game development now?
Simple as that. It's been two years, I've pretty much burnt through close to all my savings now, and I feel like a terrible son when my parents comes over and shoves money in my hand. I tell them that financially, I'm still ok, but we all know I'm cutting this way too close now. I don't know if I can say I regret not getting where I wanted to go: to make a game, be a part of the process, from start to finish. Right now it hurts, knowing that I didn't do that. I know for some of you reading this, I've gone further than you've imagined having actually published a game, but for me, it just feels like I haven't done enough. I don't think I would have minded if I had worked on a project from start to finish and for it to bomb spectacularly: at least it would have meant I was a terrible game designer, then I can move on. Right now, it's more like a no decision, I only wished I had a legit chance.

Hey, look on the bright side: now that I'm no longer looking into the game industry, I can speak much more freely about my thoughts on things that are happening in it. There has been many instances where I had to really hold back on how I feel about certain approaches in games and game development, and now I can really tell you how I feel about Freemium Games (IT SUCKS.)

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While I'm officially calling it quits, I guess un-officially, I'm shelving all this game development stuff into a hobbyist state. I'm going to wrap up my most recent iOS game and ship it late March, but the timeline beyond that is much more hazy. My iOS Developer license actually expires around the same time, and I'm not really sure if I'd extend it just to ship another game in a year's time. I've been fiddling with a few other ideas that I was going to go into production with, but as a hobby project, these games will now take many more months then before (and I'm definitely not going to bother with as many playability bug fixes).

Recently I've started playing with the ideas of building a board game, and that will be an ongoing project for the foreseeable future. It's a pretty fun pipe dream to see it through, and maybe who knows, I can toss this sucker up on IndieGoGo (not kickstarter cause they hate Canada) and see it takeoff somehow.

It's also been a while since I blogged about game design, so I guess I'm going to resume that when I get a more stable job. At least I guess I can play armchair designer, right?

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So yeah. There you have it. I'm not happy about giving up, but I'm done, game dev. Thanks for all the good times. Call me if you need me.

On Career Trajectory, Aspirations, and When to cut your losses in Game Development
alpha_two
Just a warning: This is going to be somewhat depressing of a read right before Christmas, so yeah, bailout, and all that stuff if you don't want me to spoil the jolly mood.



Since the Mayans didn't end it all, it's time to put a few things in perspective, and figure a few things out. I've been thinking about this for a long time, and I'm really not sure what the right answer is (if there is even one), and if you think you have a suggestion for me, please send them this way.

Let's get a few facts out the window in case you don't know:
- Officially, I've been Unemployed/Self-Employed (but hasn't made any money) in the last 20 months now.
- During this time, I've shipped 4 iOS Application, and 2 iOS Games. One is still in development/ready to release. Based on the current trajectory of sales, let's just call it a "challenge" (more on this later)
- During this time, I've had approximately 4 decent interviews for Designer positions, all within core gaming space. (also more on this later) I've talked to quite a few other more casual space companies, but have decided to not proceed further with a interview process.

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During the last year, I've been listening to quite a few podcasts and other stuff while I work, and two in particular had much resonance with my current predicament (give them a listen):

This American Life - Last Man Standing - "Is it stubbornness? Tenacity? Survival of the fittest? This week, stories about people who feel compelled to keep going, especially when everyone else has given up.", specifically, the story of Act 2 - "Producer Sarah Koenig tells the story of Duke Fightmaster, who refused to give up his simple dream: to replace Conan O'Brien."
The Upside of Quitting - "You know the bromide: “a winner never quits, and a quitter never wins.”To which Freakonomics Radio says … Are you sure? Sometimes quitting is strategic, and sometimes it can be your best possible plan."

In both cases, it speaks to the current place where I am at right now, and I'm wondering if there is a cutoff point when I should just cut my losses, and stop looking at games as some sort of future career.

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Now may also a good time to establish the baseline of what I had been looking for as far as working in games:
a) Any Design position in any "core game development"
b) Casual games design that isn't entirely reliant on absurd microtransations that abuses player's OCD complex or inability to control financial decisions over "nothing".
c) Not Facebook Zynga clones
d) Programming? (not that I can actually get such a position as I've been just so far removed from anything that isn't ObjC coding)

One of the main reasons I wanted to make games was really to reflect what they were for me when growing up: the ideas of world exploration, mechanics, decisions, story, etc… The concept of play and challenge were the driving principle of games back then, and it's the thing I look forward to in game creation. The recent trend of F2P/Facebook games challenges that to a certain extent, and while it can definitely be a balance between financial and design decisions, it seems like every "casual" game is all about asking whether I can extract the most amount of money from whales as much as I can without ever asking what kind of gameplay ideas and mechanics makes the game long lasting. For the longest time, I've pretty much avoided directly applying to companies that uses any sort of F2P scheme cause I just can't get over myself as a game designer to think that all I would be doing is manipulating people's compulsions. I won't go as far as calling it amoral, but I would have a hard time calling myself a game designer and do that at the same time.

Is holding games to such ideals too much? Should I just give in and just take it? I'm well aware of the fact that design roles core space is limited, and my "3 years of experience" just isn't enough (it's scary to see junior positions asking for 5-8 years), so is that other side of gaming my only choice left? I don't know.

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As for the iOS development (CaffeineRunTime Games): It's been a slow grind, but I'm now at a place where I can ship games on a "reliable schedule", but three problems:
1) Without marketing, sales of games will be slow to non-existence (my current numbers are early, but just as I expected)
2) The lowest I can charge is $0.99, and it's not a space I can compete in with everyone and their mothers coming in at that price (or even free + IAP)
3) Don't have a way to get an artist (who would work on commission basis), which almost always means that I'll take the hit when it doesn't sell, but there's no guarantee that improved art would improve sales by the same fold.

I've got one or two more things in the works (one of them will be an IAP thing that I'd play myself - which has enough gameplay meat that doesn't fall into my categorization of the F2P trap), but again, as this venture is without any financial backing, I don't know how much longer I can keep plugging away at it.

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I guess the biggest question is how long can I really hold out looking for the right job within games, which goes back to those podcasts topics. A few people have asked me when I'd just look for a "real job", and every time it happens I give myself an artificial deadline: 6 months, 1 year, 15 months, 18 months, this christmas… In the back of my mind, I know I still want to make games, and giving myself more time despite the lack of income is a sign of that. Yet at some point, life has to move on, right? I look at the people I know, and it seems like everyone has moved on (and mostly away from gamedev), so why can't I?

The important announcement - Announcing #HaroldJam
alpha_two
So, apparently I have 2, maybe 2.5 days to submit 2 apps before the names expire. And of course, I'm nowhere close to being done. But what does this have to do with anything, you'd ask? Well, let's do a fun 48 hour event, the first annual #HaroldJam

Unlike other GameJams and other work sessions - this is a Jam that is only open to me: You aren't allowed to participate, and there is no topics. What you can do though, is watch the live-tweets as I update my progress on stuff.

So, what do I plan to do in this HaroldJam?

1) Ship 1 app update (It's a surprise!)
2) Ship 2 game apps - One is "almost done", the other one, barely started!
3) Continue to word on the board game, where I'm just creating new text content and images.

Do I have an order of operation for all these things? No, but that's part of the fun!

Every half-hour/hour, I'll post a new update on my progress, these may include the following:

1)What I'm working on.
2)Am I eating.
3)Bathroom breaks (why not!)
4)If I decide to boot up the 360, you'll see it too, and also recommend a playlist!

So yeah, let's go! Deadline is Dec 6th, 3PM EST.

The Random Post
alpha_two
Hi.

Wow. It's been a while since I posted here. Maybe splitting blogs into their separate streams isn't necessary a good idea.

I should start writing a bunch of other stuff.

This might get dark.

We're truly in the dark timeline now.

It's done (sort of), so what's next?
alpha_two
Well, I managed to finally submit the game I've been working on. Feels good, sort of.

Let's sum up a few things, in case you weren't keeping track (who is?) :P

Officially, I started coding this project around middle of July. I don't recall the exact day anymore, but this puts the project at roughly 7-8 months (there was a serious amount of slack around the time Gears 3 launched, among other things.

Is 8 months too long for a project? There's been all sorts of mishaps along the way, like learning to program in objective C, learning cocos2d, upgrading cocos2d, a hard drive crash, etc. I also managed to make a few other additional boneheaded decisions, like supporting iPad + iPhone at the same time, supporting GameCenter, and other additional complications. And of course, I had the issue of being a one man wreaking crew (by choice, for a reason I'd explain later), and you end up with designer art (which is better than programmer art), designer code (which is worse than programmer code), and music that can only be described as "beeps and boops". Knowing what I know now, I can probably redo everything under 3 months.

Now, all that's left is a)the release, and b)all the write-ups that accompany the release. In a way, it's not a game I think I should advertise, not in the traditional way, for a few reasons:

1) It's a free game, so yeah, not a big deal.
2) It's not a feel good game. So it's not something that your typical iOS audience would care for
3) It needs context and closure: sure, the mechanics are in place, but what it is right now is something that tells a story.
4) It's essentially in beta form, 12 stages, completable in 20 minutes, assuming you know what you're doing. It's far short of what I would have wanted it to be.

More importantly, I don't know what's next. Working on this app/game was a way for me to a)brush up on some sort of coding, b)work on a game of sorts and c)bide some time till I figure out what to do as employment. It's been a year, and I really don't know what to think anymore about working as a game designer at a professional level. Is it viable for me, from a financial standpoint, or should I cut my losses and run at this point? I'm not sure anymore.

Sorry to end on a downer point (hmmm…sounds familiar), but yeah. I guess I'll do another update as things gets closer to a release date for the game.

Game Time Decision
alpha_two
So, we're approaching the 11th hour (month, but who's counting) and I feel like I've wasted most of the last year. If someone were to write a biography about it, that last year would all be summed up in a chapter called "The Lost Year".

At this time last year, the choices I had was to either stick around working on something I didn't want to work on (and more specifically, have no relevant skills or interest in) or quit and find another job. I figured that I had a full year of EI to burn, and in the worst case, I can decided then.

Then is now.

I don't know what to think anymore. I look at the people around me, and clearly people have moved on. The call of money and moving on with life is clearly growing stronger, and it's absolutely depressing to think that this will be a deciding factor.

Some have asked, why not go do something else on the side, and come back to games afterwards? I've briefly mentioned it before, but I'll clarify my feelings about that now:

There is no going back. If I choose to leave game design now, there will be no going back. If I take any other programming job out of games, I won't bother using whatever free time to work on games, I know myself better than that, and the pay will far outpace it to the point that I'd never look back.

So there's that, the new binary choice of my next decision:


wait till core game design job comes around (or start my own)

OR

get out of games


I don't expect anyone else to have an answer for me, that's ok. I felt like I needed to write this out somewhere.

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