As has been said before there really is such a thing as too much of a
good thing. When you are young, something is brand new to you, it is
easy to get caught up in the moment. It seams easy to believe you will
always feel the enthusiasm, excitement, and absolute pleasure you feel
when first working on something you enjoy. I know all too well what it
feels like when taking those first steps towards something you always
wanted to do, and I know what it feels like after it burns out like an
old candle. It is often hard to believe that something like that can
happen, but it does if you aren't careful.
When I was 19 I began attending Wright State University in Dayton Ohio.
At that time I knew I really wanted to become a programmer. As you might
have guessed my main reason was I wanted to create accessible games I
could play, but I was happy enough to write ordinary software too. The
first time I wrote a simple program in C++ I was over the moon. It
wasn't long after that I wrote a few simple text based games in C++, and
I was crazy about programming. I was willing and ready to program
anything and everything I could. So what happened?
Well, after college it didn't take me long to discover the kind of
programming that really pays you money is pretty boring and dull stuff
like databases to keep track of employee records, programs to generate
reports, a web site for some church/company, whatever. All and all it
can be fairly dull and ordinary work. Certainly not the glorious and
exciting profession I once believed it to be.
So in 2004 I began seriously writing accessible games. That was
exciting, interesting at first, and I enjoyed it for a while. However,
after I took over the games from Alchemy, I began to lose the excitement
in the thing. There are several reasons why I'm not quite as excited as
I once was about writing accessible games.
First, as with any kind of job where you deal with the public there is
lots of stress involved. People have complained they want their money
back because the game is taking too long to create. People complain they
don't like this or that about the game. People continuously request
feature x they feel should be in the game and currently isn't. Some
people complain the game costs too much. Needless to say practically
from the first day I took over the games I've had to put up with a lot
of needless wining, nagging, and complaining that I didn't want or ask for.
Second, the pay down right sucks. I don't write these games precisely
for money, mainly for the enjoyment of it, but it doesn't hurt to pay
the developer something for his time and money spent working on said
game. I have sounds and music to pay for. I have to cover operating
expenses such as a web server, web site, whatever. When you deduct
operating expenses as well as taxes I don't end up with a whole heck of
a lot for my time. If that wasn't bad enough there is always a few jerks
out there who will happily hack and crack said game and pass it around
to their fellow hacker buddies. They might as well walk up to me and
flip me the bird for the amount of respect they show me.
Finally, I've given up a lot of my personal time to see that Mysteries
of the Ancients and Raceway get done in something like a timely manner.
Working on those games day in and day out instead of watching tv,
playing my guitar, going swimming with the family, etc is a major drain
on me emotionally and physically. No matter how much I loved programming
before I'm beginning to go just a bit crazy sitting in front of a
computer 24/7 without getting involved with some outside interests that
aren't computer related. I still love computers, still like programming,
but I don't want to be chained to it like a prisoner with a ball and
chain. As soon as Mysteries of the Ancients is done I'm going to take
some serious time away from the computer to indulge myself in
non-computer enjoyments. I need time away from the computer to recharge
my batteries, to think about new projects, and to hopefully regain some
of the excitement and energy i had for writing accessible games to begin
The moral of this story is simply this. Chasing the perfect job is like
chasing the perfect girl. The guy who dreams of getting a woman that
looks like Pamela Anderson will in all likelihood end up with some
average ordinary looking chick who lives around town. It is easy to get
burned out, lose sight of your excitement and enthusiasm, because real
life isn't like your dreams.
The bright eyed programmer who dreamed of creating the next best selling
video game probably will in likelihood find a job managing some
companies web site, MySQL database, or creating report writing programs.
If he writes games on the side that is alright, but only the best of the
best get hired to mainstream game companies. That reality has a way of
shooting your dreams right in the foot, and it is wise to keep that in
mind before letting your dreams get carried away.
Gamers mailing list __ Gamers@audyssey.org
If you want to leave the list, send E-mail to gamers-unsubscr...@audyssey.org.
You can make changes or update your subscription via the web, at
All messages are archived and can be searched and read at
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the management of the list,
please send E-mail to gamers-ow...@audyssey.org.