30th of June 2017, finally there

Around new year's, I was disappointed and frustrated by a situation for the umpteenth time. Always asked to go the extra mile, but never getting support when I needed some myself (career wise, project support wise), it felt like it was high time for something new.

I started looking for a new job, a mission where I could refocus and rejuvenate. With a lot more experience under my belt, I thought it a lot more possible to get something worthwhile. But when I was applying for openings, I got to thinking, wondering what I was really looking for and how I could find it. Imagining lead me to a place of nostalgia, a boyhood dream. Once upon a time all I wanted to do was make games, and it was a fantasy I kept going for a long while. It was only when I started working that it really died. And it never moved beyond fantasy stage.

It was not so simple at the time. Belgium was not really the ideal place to try and work for the productive side of the games industry (as opposed to the journalistic side). There were but a few companies, and unless you were rich and able to afford a team, going at it alone had little perspective. And since I didn't have the right degree, my chances were slim for those few open spots.

A couple of things have changed since then. For starters, I. With a couple of years "slaving" away at doing something that gives me no intrinsic satisfaction, I have more determination than I used to have to bring my dream to fruition. Rebooting the comic (another project I cooked up and abandoned too soon), and keeping up with the (albeit light) update schedule has let me practice my drawing skills. After a small test, I found out I can do simple animations. The market has also changed. With several new platforms for distribution, going "Indie" gives lonesome codeboys like me a chance to solo the adventure. And the mobile market, with it's accompanying bite size appetite, does mean that the content of a single good executed idea can sate a user's hunger.

I can program (a bit rusty, but it will come back (and has started to already) and I can draw. Sound will be a weak point, but for a first venture, using some Creative Commons (hopefully to be repaid to the community later) will suffice. The choice for this team of one (with some help from the missus) will be to make a 2D sprite-based game. And since I'm trying to do this (fairly) risk-free, I have a one-shot period of time before I need to get back to regular, unsatisfying Work work.

So my mission is to develop a 2D side-scrolling action platformer for mobile devices (specifically Android) in about 2 months, all by myself.

Well shit, it sounds crazy if I put it like that.

If you like to keep informed of this road through insanity, check back here, I'll try to keep you all updated. Who knows, I might actually pull it off and leave you inspired. And if I crash and fail, it might still help you to avoid some pitfalls when you go for your project.

PS: even though Work work is the mind slog that it is, I realize I'm still relatively lucky to be able to have this one shot at trying to start something that satisfies, with no real financial risk. I like to imagine what something like a basic income could do to offer everyone a chance at following up/through on their passions.