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Why I create

It's an age old question that I'll probably have a new answer to a few years from now, but an open ended Steam review made me really process it. There's altruistic reasons why I create and then there are selfish human reasons, but at least one of them isn't to make a profit. If I wanted to make money I wouldn't be in the lifestyle that is indie game development. Though, now that I think about it I already owe the money needed to buy a house in student loans and I haven't even started college yet... one day at a time.

But anyways, back to the topic. I responded to that said Steam review as I do most things... in an existential rambling mess. However, since this is my personal blog and that's most of what I post on here... enjoy!

It's the paradox that every artist is always answering at different times in their life or better yet should just be ignoring. Awkward Dimensions Redux isn't really about dreams, but I suppose anyone could piece that together. It's all my thoughts, fears, hopes, desires, past work (discarded prototypes), emotions, and anxieties. The things I didn’t talk about, but needed to. Awkward was therapy for me, but releasing it...

I wanted for people (like you) to analyze it and save me the trouble of figuring out who I am by simply making judgments and telling me who I am. I am still a confused teenager that has no real clue what the hell I'm even doing. Awkward came after a time when I had experienced a lot of rejection both professionally and personally. Gamedev became work and not play when I started trying to be professional. I needed an outlet to vent otherwise I would have needed a therapist. The narcissist in me wanted validation, acceptance, love, and affection (human needs, that at the time I needed). In that selfish search for validation, I've also validated others as well. However, there are things that vary from person to person. We don't all have the same experiences and therefore things get misunderstood. For example, while I did experience rejection at the time those harsh judgements and criticism is my own. Everyone is their worst critic. It's my self-doubt and anxiety, not online negative feedback... Which can be interpreted as a kid who can't take criticism, which is simply not the case. Though it is odd, to get criticized as a person instead of the mechanics or execution of the game itself, but with this game it's practically impossible to separate the two.

As for the commentary on the obvious other work, I wanted so badly to disprove the message of that game "you can't possibly understand someone through their work". I didn't want to believe that, and I still don't. So, by actually applying it to a real human being (me) not some fictional character and keeping an open line of communication with anyone who played the dev commentary, I hoped to do so. I wanted to be understood and in doing so better understand myself. An interactive self-psychoanalysis introspection of sorts.

I learned what it feels to have all the success, praise, and kudos I could have ever asked for until I became numb to it all. The hate mail, the fan mail, friend requests, reviews, lets plays, articles, everything became much too overwhelming. I felt that I needed to follow it up somehow, and that's impossible. Griptape Backbone just prolonged those anxieties and kept me busy making a joke game mocking that "teen angst" as if I had grown up and figured it all out. And truth is I haven’t yet.

So back to the main question...
I make art for myself, thus why it isn't very polished nor intuitive for anyone other than myself. Especially in the controls department, because while the controls are "bad" for others they're intentional and my personal preference. As for my motive in creating something… it really varies from project to project. Some games aren’t fun to play nor fun to make, yet need to be made. Others are to distract and entertain myself, because as long as I’m currently making something then I don’t feel useless or empty. I get terribly depressed if I’m not currently making something, and I’d love to be happy with just myself and not a current project, but I can’t. Deep down I want my life to mean something, pass on some values, have an effect on people for the better and if games are my only heard voice then it seems only logical to keep releasing them. Video games are my survival. 


  1. Keep on keepin on Steve, the gaming world is a better place with you in it


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