What can I say? Being older and making games is... Painful. Painful enough to make me want to quit every now and then. At least once each month.
You are making a simple game. A game that normally would take you up to a week to develop. But then your kid gets sick. And have to stay home. For a week. Then YOU get sick. And being sick - you still keep yourself glued to the chair. Trying to code in what you have in mind. Falling asleep on your own keyboard. Then your wife gets sick too. And working becomes very annoying. You have troubles focusing.
Once all the sickness are gone - you go back to work. But you have to do laundries. Shopping. You have to clean dishes, floor. Cook some dinner for the family. Pay the rent, the bills. Then you get into a fight with your wife. And this leaves you pissed and exhausted. You loss all the motivation to code. You have troubles thinking straight.
Due to game delay, your bank account gets dry. And you have to stop the developing and take some casual jobs, to earn some quick cash. Meanwhile your fans are emailing you. Your facebook account needs attention. Twitters twists like mad. People are asking what's going on. And you have neither time or stamina to reply. Even if they are dear to you. Then the your building administrators, in where you live, decides that the gas pipes needs to be replaced. They rip the walls, the floors. You cannot work. Harsh noise of drills interrupts your every thinking, concentration. You go outside. For a walk. You recharge batteries. Come back and continue fighting.
Then you have to get your kid from preschool. Do some homework with him. Play with him. Trying to raise and teach this young human being how to be a good man. Then evening comes. You finally have some time to work again. But the TV is right next to you. So you put headphones on and play some loud music. The music is to distract you from the TV right next to you, but it also gets in the way distracting your own mind. You are exhausted. 10:00 PM comes, and you stop working and watch a movie with your wife. Then you go to bed and fall asleep like a dead body. At the morning you wake up. Make breakfast for everybody. Take your kid to preschool and back to work. Day by day. Week after week. Month after month.
And suddenly your "One Week game" is getting finished.... In 8 weeks. Its not polished or optimized. And you are just freaking burned out. You have no stamina left to patch and polish the game. You just want to get rid of it already. Publish it and forget. Move to the next project. Because you already started to hate your game.
Good things happens for a change. The game goes a bit viral. You gain fans and followers. But the game due to lack of time and funding and stamina ended up maybe 1/10 of what you wanted to develop. So you promise part 2. A sequel. A good one this time. With HD graphics, awesome audio, rich gameworld and story, standalone, in fullscreen. Not some shitty embed on Newgrounds or Kongregate. But you know you cannot afford such project on your own. You cannot afford spending 6 months to develop such game. So you look for a publisher, an investor.
You finally find one. He is all hyped and everything. Promises you golden mountains. Speaks with you via phone and IRL for hours. And then you get the papers. You read the papers. And its all shit. So you discard the publisher. You look for another one. Same story. All hype and then shitty papers. You starting to get heartbroken. You decide you'll go crowdfunding. But you have no access to Kickstarter so you are forced to use inferior IndieGoGo.
You slowly prepare for the campaign. You read billions of arts, FAQ, post mortems and tutorials. You ask for advices from fellow, successful developers. You take notes. And you finally get to work. You make a tech-demo of the Sequel. You compose and master Soundtrack. You write script for the trailer. Then you record the trailer. You master it, polish. Upload to all media. You prepare the presskit. Graphics for the campaign. You write hell load of content. Spellcheck them like a extreme grammar nazi. And you are finally ready. You wait till the beginning of the month. You start spreading the hype. And then you click the launch button. And it goes live. The fire is burning. And you are burned out.
You answer emails, messages, twists. Dozens of them. Daily. You observe how little cash is flowing in at IndieGoGo. And you feel sad. But you cannot give up. You have a wife and son. Quitting is not an option. So you keep on pushing. Trying not to ask the difficult question. Ignoring the what's coming. Hoping its a mirage.
You keep doing what you were doing. Making more buzz on the net. Using all sort of cheap tricks, guerrilla tactics, grayhatting. Everything. You throw out everything you got. One of you fans, out of pure devotions - donates money to you. So you can buy a developer pass on Steam. You cry. Because this is the first bright thing that happens. On a pitch black canvas of your situation.
But everything still fails.
Half way to your target goal someone donates a huge amount of money for the campaign. You rush to thank him. As it appears, he is a rich guy. And he believes in you. You talk via Skype with him. For hours. Two of you cry, laugh, joke around. And a shy spark of hope is starting to ignite in your heart. The guy wants to fund your projects. Forever. Because he believes in you. Due to amount of stress and hardship you had been enduring past months, you lower your guard. And that's your mistake.
After some time, the investor starts to smell weird. You Xray him. And find all sorts of nasty facts. Facts you cannot deny. Its over. Your game gets Greenlit. But long after IndieGoGo ends and fails. You don't have funds to actually develop the game. And your Greenlit game profile becomes a tombstone. A monument of what will not happened. At least, not anytime soon.
So you go to the store, buy a bottle of vodka. Which you normally never drink. And you get wasted. You shout, you cry, you fall into depression. Night ends, morning comes. You pull yourself back in one piece. And you start a new project. Rise and repeat.
From mathematical standpoint - you have to success. Sooner or later. It will come. Even a monkey will write Shakespeare if you give it enough time. At least that's what you are holding to. Because at this point, after so many years - you have nowhere else to go. Developing games is all you can do and all you want to do. The only hope for a better life. For you, your wife, you kid, your old mother. The only hope. Which you ceased to believe in, long time ago. But you are on this train with a One-Way ticket. And there is no coming back. So you keep riding the train. Giving out everything you got. Doing everything you can. Hoping for the best. Praying it'll be enough.
Well lol YEAH! Being a an adult with a family and age and game developer - is a pain in the ass. Its a fun ride at times. But those moments are rare and precious. Mostly after publishing a game. Reading feedback and interacting with the players is also great. The coolest thing is when your kid is playing your games with all the "Wows!" on his face. Thats one of the brief moments when you really feel that you are fighintg the good fight.
w00t! 400th post!