Sunday, May 19, 2013

letters from my father, updates, and working.

Hey everybody-

Have taken a brief hiatus from Elemental (again) to try out Twine and rest my brain a little and finish something.

The thing here isn't a game, really,  I'm not sure what it is.  When I started I had no intention of doing anything like it. Mostly it was me testing things out.  And then I just got here somehow. 

It does include a number of letters from my dad, who I've been thinking about a lot lately, and continue to miss. I think he would like the new instant replay rule coming in baseball and hate pretty much everything else.

Anyway... here it is. 

Be well, love the world, etc.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Soldiering On

On the book

Well, fast forward two weeks, and I'm about 5 chapters into full blown rewrite. They have been going well, but the overall scope of the "revision" has changed to "new book" which frankly, sucks. It's amazing how difficult the terrain seems to be, and how easy it is to get sidetracked. I felt much more confident that this would be the definitive version at the start, but now the fact that neither of the previous versions of the book feels like it fits this one is really weighing on me, and creating a lot of unhealthy inertia and self-doubt I don't need.

Anyway, the five chapter mark in the past has always been the big hurdle. That and the unpleasant fact that I get so ferociously discouraged with myself because the book is not done, because in two versions I still don't have something I am happy with, and because I know if I want to finish this, it is going to mean I actually need to write a THIRD version.

So there's that thing in my way right now. I'm pretty resolved to finish the book, though, if for no other reason that this is the last chance it gets. Third time's the charm, as they say. Either it gets done or I call it. I won't give it another shot.  With that I guess I am saying I'm going to just write it and see what happens. I'm not going to worry about the two books that went before, since that's been slowing me down more than helping me.

I'm shooting for a chapter a week, which means (with any luck) this thing will be in some form of completion by the autumn. It is daunting to think about throwing so much of the previous work away. It is crappy and makes me feel like I wasted so much time just making mistakes. But I am trying to see it like failed experiments that are showing me the direction things should go.

Once I finish ten chapters I'll update the blog with a separate chunk of the book. Any encouragement/critique of any kind is welcome. I can use it all.

On the game

In other news, the game is coming along much better than this and we will be seeing you at E3 with new and awesome stuff. I will not, however, be wearing a mask. That I am aware of.

On Indies

I've been following the indie explosion with this weird mixture of envy and headache. I think the indie scene is awesome. I think the freedom it engenders is awesome. I think doing shit on your own is fucking awesome.  I think owning the means of production is awesome, not to get all Marxist up in this bitch or anything, but as a designer, it is the best of all worlds.

I admit I am pretty curious about what it will all mean when the scene matures and there are all these voices clamoring for attention. Who wins? I already feel like I lack adequate filters for a lot of the work coming down the pike... and now there is so much more on the way.

What happens then? What's the indie ecosystem actually going to turn into a few years down the line? Let's torture the extinction metaphor a little. If you think about the model of AAA being, uh, dinosaurs,  and indies being the mammals, who gets to be human? What does that evolution look like, or is it already here?

To be honest I'm suffering indie fatigue as it is, between new Kickstarter announcements every day, friends who are working on their own cool stuff, Steam releases.. etc. There's simply too much stuff out there to parse, much less give a shit about.

It's like, when I was younger and listening to music, I'd buy a Volcano Suns album, and I'd go, oh it's on Homestead. And I'd check out other Homestead bands, and then I'd listen to Big Black, and I dug them, and so on, until I wound up listening to the whole catalog, or I'd listen to a band that Albini liked, and gradually, at my own pace, I'd expand the borders of my listening oeuvre, until I had suddenly, unexpectedly, discovered a whole genre or subgenre of music. And it was cool.

I don't get that now. I wish I did.