I sat down to think about why I am motivated to make indie games after I wrote this blog post. Honestly, I’d never really examined it before, at least not in any rigorous way. It took me an embarrassing length of time to come to any real conclusion on the subject. In the end, it all came back to one thing:
Q: “Why do you do what you do?”
A: I want to stir things in people.
At this point, the other questions were easy to answer.
Q: “How do you accomplish this?”
A: I craft things with a focus on quality and communicate with an audience through content.
The final question is simple.
Q. “And what do you do?”
A. I make video games.
As an unexpected bonus, I understand myself a little better now that I’ve completed the exercise.
For 10 years, I went to work in the professional game industry and executed on someone else’s vision. It was incredibly difficult for me at some of those workplaces. I spent a lot of time being angry, and way too much time complaining about my dissatisfaction. It was counterproductive, and it’s something I regret in hindsight. I worked with a lot of wonderful people, and I would apologize for the hubris and impatience I showed in my younger days.
This insight showed me that there was no alignment of purpose at some of my former jobs. The only thing we had in common was “what” we did. Personally, the worst times for me involved making quick games that lacked quality or content. Let me be clear, I am not in any way judging the people for whom I worked. I wasn’t in the shoes of the executives and it’s not my place to judge them. They were likely doing the best they could to make a little cash in an incredibly hard business, and I was well-compensated for my efforts through the years.
The blame for any misery I felt fell squarely on my own attitude and actions. I believe it was mostly my fault for not searching harder for work that aligned with my own desires. I rarely went above and beyond or tried to change my environment through positive means. I simply pointed the finger at the powers-that-be and begrudgingly accepted my lot. It was all quite childish.
Having taken the time to reflect on all of this, I feel more enlightened, more aligned with my own beliefs and values. It’s time to dig in and actually complete something that will fulfill these criteria and bring me some self-satisfaction. Answering my “Why?”, “How?”, and “What?” has given me renewed energy to get to work again, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do!