It’s been a bit slower than usual around here. The reason for that is that I’ve been struggling to keep going emotionally. I tend not to mention most of the stuff that goes on in my life, because I hate whining and trying to get everyone’s attention, but there’s been a lot. Don’t worry, Verena and I are fine – still married, still in love. But there have been deaths in the family, depression, poverty… thanks to the wonders of the capitalism, my dad hasn’t been paid in months, my mother gets no pension money at all until next year (and she’s getting almost nothing anyway), and it’s not like I’m making enough money to survive. Sure, yes, if we just have one successful sale we’ll have enough money to allow us to work on bigger projects, but it’s been hard.
Then today I got really negative feedback about Traitor, a game that I thought was enormous fun, and I kind of broke down. I’ve worked so hard for so many years, sacrificed so much for my belief in making art, and I feel like I’m about to tumble down an abyss from which there is no coming back. I know we can make this, I know we can make games and movies and books and everything else… but we need a success. Anything. Something needs to take off, to make it big, give us some room to breathe. I feel like I’ve been working nonstop for years – and come to think of it, I have. When was the last time I had a free day? When was the last time I didn’t spend twelve hours a day in front of the computer? But I can’t afford to stop.
I’m trying not to lose faith. I know there are people who enjoy what we do, who would be sad if it went away.
There are plans. Lots of plans. More games to make, stories to tell, projects that might be successful. But it’s hard to look forward to all that, to say we can do this, when you’ve been at it for so long and by now you’re so poor you can’t buy your wife a Christmas present.
What’s keeping me going is imagination, the creative impulse. I have stories to tell. I feel that I am supposed to tell these stories. I feel that they matter. So the struggle goes on. Somehow. It has to.