It’s Sunday in indie game developer land. Sundays have the potential to be the hardest day of the week. The lack of material acquisitions (bagels, special coffees, etcetera) aside Sunday is the day I should be spending with my kids outside doing kid stuff.
Instead I’m sitting in this room staring at screens trying to invent something. I’m not even interested in doing anything amazing; I just want something to show for my time. I can’t speak for anyone else but I think that I’m probably the most introspective person that I know. This means that while I’m in the process of creating something, I’m constantly doubting the facility or the utility of the thing I’m making. This means that I’m always fighting the “makers war” on two fronts.
Can I be smart enough to do this thing in exactly the right way? The task today is creating tile sets for three dimensional environments. I need to craft content for the level designer to be able to plug in to his scene and have all the pieces fit together like we might have planned it. We’re constantly trying to keep things as loose and non-specific as possible, for as long as possible, right up until shipping. This task isn’t easy.
Is this even worth doing? If we were a bigger outfit we might have already made a few passes at designing something like an overall map. We operate in some really grey hours though so instead we’re always shooting with one ball against the rail. Wouldn’t it be better to just model the whole thing in one whack and bake it out to the game engine? Or maybe I should make larger composite segments that fit together? Or maybe I should come back to the tile-based content idea and just focus on what we all agreed on me building.
And so… I dither. This word is shaping up to be my drug of choice lately. Should I X or Y? It applies to an awful lot more than just the game development stuff as well which means little peace for the old thinkbox. Karl said I should write more about what I’m doing and the experiences I’m having transitioning from (whatever the hell it was that I was doing at Coalmarch) to being a full-time indie game developer.
When I was a kid my dad spent all of his free time out in the woodworking shop he built onto the side of the house. Working with wood, making furniture and all sorts of other things has so many similarities to software development I think. I’m a lot like him in this way, right now, at least. I should probably ask him some time whether he ever doubted whether or not he was capable of figuring out dove-tail joints or putting together a bed frame with no nails. I wonder if he’d even admit it.