You Are Now Leaving The Comfort Zone
No game news to be found here my friends
But this year, something else happened. Instead of feeling inspired I felt hopeless. Instead of playing games I loitered at the back and didn’t engage. I watched as my brother chatted away with other devs and tried out their games but I had no desire to follow suit.
So what happened? What caused the normally brilliant (for motivation) Rezzed to be absolutely rubbish (for motivation) in the year of 2018?
What I think happened is that this year is the first year where I started thinking that I should have achieved something by now. Undead Blackout released in an unfinished and buggy state (more on that in the next blog!) in February 2017 and while I was aware of the issues it had, I had actually released a game so gained some level of achievement from that. Rezzed 2017 just re-motivated me to get that game working and move onto the next project. In the previous years I was just excited to be hearing from devs and getting absolutely loads of inspiration and motivation.
This year is the first time I have attended feeling like I have messed everything up. I have not achieved anything of note. My games are rubbish and there was no real prospect of any kind of success on the horizon. I am not looking to make millions of pounds, I just want something to be released, work well, play well and sell enough copies to buy me a beer or two. That would be enough to keep me moving on.
I didn’t attend Rezzed on Sunday, choosing instead to stay at home and do some work, but also to sit at my desk and think everything over. Can I really do this? Is it all worth it? Am I just kidding myself? I didn’t come to any definitive answers on those questions but one thing I did realise is that I am not helping myself. Yes, I am working hard when it comes to making games, but what does that matter if nobody knows about it?
I am not exactly a shy person in real life but when it comes to the online interaction I observe every day in the game dev community, I freeze up and can’t seem to do it. Promoting myself seems weird. Chatting to other devs about their works seems weird. I can only assume that people who stream themselves working on their games are massively drunk at all times of the day.
I think much of this stems from my horrific impostor syndrome which I get with every new job I start or every compliment I receive. A little voice saying “If only they knew the truth, that I am actually rubbish at literally everything.” The idea of chatting with a dev like I know what I am talking about or showing someone my game, who isn’t my mum, makes that voice pipe up and so I often just don’t bother.
I can get away with the odd post on Twitter here and there, but it is just me quietly saying something in a noisy room to nobody in particular then congratulating myself on doing some promotion. Nobody noticed but I can pretend that I am doing my best.
Well that cannot go on any longer. This years Rezzed has made me realise I need to change the way I do things, so in a strange way it might turn out to be the most motivating one that I have been to yet. I need to put myself out there, despite the potential embarrassment, despite my little impostor syndrome voice saying I don’t know the first thing about using Unreal Engine 4 or making games.
So I am going to write more of these dumb articles, I am going to stream myself either working on or testing the latest versions of my games. I have already got myself set up with some Twitch streaming as you can see below with this picture of me looking very confused and just streaming my desktop background.
I am going to interact with all the devs that I follow on Twitter and admire from afar and ask them for advice or engage in whatever thing it is Twitter is angry about on that particular day. I am going to try and ignore my impostor syndrome voice (least drown it out with the Portal 2 soundtrack) and believe that I can do this, as long as I keep learning and working.
This post is the start of this process, hopefully I can look back in 6 or 12 or 18 months and see that from this point on, I gave it my all. Whether that translates to success only time will tell, but I will be filled with regret if I don’t get properly stuck in. It is time to leave the comfort zone and enter the…uncomfort zone? The uncomfortable zone? Either way, I need to push myself to somewhere I don’t feel entirely at ease as it is the only way to make myself feel like I am doing my best.
Unfortunately for you lot it probably means me on a Twitch stream swearing about nav meshes or something. Could be funny at least.