Today I finished a game that I started almost two years ago.
It’s not that I’d been working on this game for two years straight – I just started it two years ago and finished it today.
In the summer of 2013, I was going through a bit of a rough patch – I had just moved out of the apartment I had lived in for three years, and, with that, had ended an eight year long relationship. There were a lot of things changing in my life, and I wasn’t particularly coping well.
I created the prototype of this game one day while feeling particularly down and exhausted, then found a young pixel artist on twitter who was interested in making a few small assets for the game (my, how things changes in two years)
Soon after Andrew delivered the initial assets for the game, things started looking up for me. I began to cope with my life changes a little better, and started feeling a little less exhausted. Basically, I didn’t have to pretend to be okay all the time anymore.
Since then, I had revisited the project a number of times trying to find the motivation to take it beyond the initial prototype phase. However, every time I opened it up, it just didn’t feel right. I wasn’t in the same place, mentally, as I was back then, and it felt dishonest to work on this while feeling so good.
Things have been generally amazing for me since then, but, as always, there are ups and downs.
For the last month or so, I’ve felt as though I’ve had no direction. I’m not doing Game a Week anymore, I was without contract work for a few months, and my personal project is at a state where things simply feel like they’re not progressing.
I’ve noticed myself becoming increasingly physically lethargic over the last few weeks, losing interest in many of the activities that I enjoy on a daily basis and largely becoming apathetic towards the things happening on around me. I seem to have lost my passion for speaking at conferences, traveling to new places, going outside, etc etc. It was a gradual change, so I didn’t quite notice it right away, but it’s definitely there.
I’ve fallen into that self-perpetuating loop where I can’t motivate myself to accomplish anything because I feel bad about myself – which causes me to feel bad about myself because I’m not accomplishing anything.
Today, I was finally able to revisit the game that I had started back in the summer of 2013. There’s not a lot of gameplay and it’s not particularly fancy, but it was the first game I ever made where I was able to accurately convey a specific feeling of mine.
It was incredibly cathartic to finally take this game a step forward, and I feel like I’ve gained a little more closure on that chapter of my life. I thought about this game often over the last two years, and I was fairly certain that it would never be finished.
It didn’t take me two years to make this game in the traditional sense, but I’ve definitely put two years of my life into it.
Design & Programming: Me
Art: Andrew Gleeson