My Indie Game — Crossroads (part 6)

This is an on-going series where I document my transition from a full-time career to becoming an indie game developer. In case you missed it, you can catch the last segment here:

As I mentioned in the last post, I’ve had a lot on my plate lately. So I wanted to take this chance to write an additional post or two this week and fill you in on what’s going on.

For anyone that’s been following this journey so far, you know I’ve been pursuing game development for quite some time. Spending the better part of my working career moving towards this goal. However, the finish line has always been just out of reach.

So, when the opportunity presented itself for me to create my own game, I obviously jumped at the chance. In just over a month’s time I have produced a pretty cool game. Sure, it lacks polish, but it’s mine. I created it all on my own, and I’m extremely proud of my progress towards this dream.

Unfortunately, the problem with dreams is eventually you have to wake up and return to reality. There’s responsibility that weighs on you as you get older and bills to be paid.

I have always felt that my game is capable of being a great product that folks will happily pay for, play, and enjoy. However, I’m certain it won’t make enough to carry me very far financially. Even if the game is a big hit initially, there’s no way that success will last long enough to produce another game.

I haven’t been actively been seeking new employment, but have been open if the right opportunity presented itself — and I think that’s finally happened. Last week I was approached by a company that creates a really cool service framework that integrates into games. They are backed by a big name company and seem like an ideal fit for my skill set. So I’ve decided to go for it.

Thus far I’ve gone through two phone interviews, both of which went very well. Tomorrow I go in for my first in-person interview. I feel that if this goes well they will offer me the position. If they do, I will most likely accept.

Immediately this beckons the question: “…but what about your game, Chris?”. I’ve been struggling with this. One way or another I’ll finish the game. However, I know my progress in the past was affected by my availability, motivation, and energy.

When you spend all day writing code, creating useful designs, and solving complex problems it can be an uphill battle to come home and continue doing the same. When the end of the work day rolls around I usually just want to sit down, kick off my shoes, turn my brain off and relax.

In the past this has made it extremely difficult to learn the tools and skills I needed to produce my own games. However, there’s hope. Over the last month I’ve managed to get a good foothold into these things. Not only that, I already have a great base for my game in place. So I’m optimistic I can make it work. Really, my biggest concern is being able to dedicate enough free time to do this in a timely manner. Inevitability the deadline for release is going to slip, I just don’t want to it drift off too far and fatigue to set in.

Again, I do feel like I’ll be able to pull this off. I’ve given notice that I’ll need two weeks before I can start the new job. Assuming they want to hire me this gives me time to make progress on the remaining core features and mechanics.

It’s stressful knowing that progress on the game may be at risk, but ultimately this position a great opportunity that I can’t afford to pass up. I’d have a chance to work with some really talented individuals that have backgrounds with some big name companies and Triple A game studios. Which could open some doors for my career. Plus, I’d still be using my skills contributing towards the industry I love.

Needless to say, expect more updates in future posts. I’m expecting to know something by Friday. Thank you again for all the support and for reading.