Apr 17, 2016

How to Become A Gamedev

Note: This post was written months ago on my former blog, bringing this here for everyone to read.

Beginning

This post has been a long time coming, even though I just started this blog this is something I've been wanting to share for a long time. I was unsure where or how to start this as I will be sharing some very deep information with everyone on when, exactly, I became a game developer. I may have begun my journey into development with games years ago and only in January of 2014 created Absinthe Games, but I didn't actually become a game developer until recently.

This is going to be a tad bit long because I'm going to pass on to you some coveted industry information: I'm going to tell you how to become a game developer. These trade secrets extend far beyond the realm of video games and find their homes in literary works, film, music and any almost any other art form, calling or any type of work, creative or otherwise, where your direct involvement is required.
I'm going to let you know that perfection is illusory, a self-appointed king we play for as jesters while life and opportunity pass us by.
The trick is quite simple: you must lose all preconceived notions of perfection. You might think "well that's just common knowledge, get your head out of the clouds" - no no no. Absolutely not. Keep them there. I'm going to let you know that perfection is illusory, a self-appointed king we play for as jesters while life and opportunity pass us by.

Everything is Awesome

Tomorrow is a better day! NO IT ISN'T. Why would you even think that? What is it that makes us all wait for that special moment, that environmental soup that must be perfect in order for your will to coalesce that thing you've been waiting to do or make forever? Why do we keep telling ourselves that we are tired today? That right now is not the best time? "Well, I don't know how to play the guitar so fuck the idea of me playing guitar" - knock that shit off.

Stop that. Right now IS the best time. There will never be a better moment to do any of this than right now. We are constantly chasing something that can never exist and if it does for you - then you shouldn't be reading this. You should be elsewhere creating environments in which things create themselves for your benefit.

All of our lives we have been taught to wait for the perfect conditions for X, Y or Z. We have been conditioned to believe that X must be perfect for Y to blossom, to bloom, to cook medium rare. While this set of absolutes holds true for cooking and building a motor for a dragster, it does not hold true for life.

The cosmos doesn't care what you are doing when it surprises you with its chaos. It doesn't know when you hurt, love, feel happiness, pain - it doesn't care. It presents opportunities when you least expect them and rips them from your paws right when the excitement sets in. You never know what conditions will arise that will change everything for you in a single moment - the kind of moment that is burned in your mind's eye forever.

Thanks, Doc

For starters, my situation is far less than conducive for me to take on tasks or projects. I have several health issues, most notable is that I am a Type 1 Diabetic. I take a concoction of medicinal alchemy daily between oral medications and injections to keep my glucose levels in check, lest I fall into a coma. It's a delicate balance that makes me far more machine in the way I approach fun things like food and exercise than it does human.

Another notable is Hashimoto's Disease. It's an autoimmune disease in which the body begins to attack itself - in this case, the thyroid. It can lead to a host of complications but the largest and most prominent effect is how you feel - like half of a human being pretty much every waking minute. Lots of energy issues, fatigue, etc. Coupled with an already strict diet due to diabetes and I'm looking to feel like I'm 80 before I'm 40. But genetics just couldn't stop there - like a good TV infomercial it just keeps throwing shit at me.
You never know what conditions will arise that will change everything for you in a single moment - the kind of moment that is burned in your mind's eye forever.
It was the afternoon of my birthday on May 21, 2014 (remember that and email me every year, yeah?) The sun was bright, I had just gotten out of the shower after coming home from a long day of work. I sat down on the stairs leading to my kitchen when my lovely cat Wednesday came up to me to say hello. I remember the look in her eye as she brushed up against my leg and meowed, what I was wearing, thinking, feeling. I remembered all of these things because at that moment - my cell began to ring.

I thought "Whoa, I'm baller as fuck! The doc is calling me to wish me a happy birthday!" (like you all should do every May 21) - Nope. I had recently been keeping an eye on a few things here and there, getting some blood work and finally a biopsy for a tumor we found, the result wasn't nothing like I had hoped. "Test results came back and - you have cancer".
Well... shit.

I gathered myself for a moment and had a quick conversation about what happens next (note: he never did wish me a happy birthday :( ). This was a huge blow to pretty much everything in my life. Things changed. I changed. I almost quit everything I was working on permanently, but I didn't. I took pause to reflect on what was happening in my life and what I was going to do about it - but it didn't last long. During that time is when I truly became a game developer.

I Am A Game Developer

It hit me like a ton of bricks. All the while leading up to this moment I was weaving in and out of different parts of my life. Losing drive then gaining it again. It was a whirlwind of "let's wait and see before making any big decisions" that came to a stop when I became sick.
It wasn't worth my damn time. Period.

There is never going to be a time in my life now or ever in which I will ever feel like "me" again. Where I can feel like a normal human being, where I can do normal things without analyzing every move I make. I had to just accept that, plan a method of engagement and move on. And I did.

I have come to realize that there is no waiting for the perfect environment. The ideal situation in which it is time for us to "pull the trigger" or make a move on the next chapter in our lives. We are masters of our own destiny (except when you roll low and the DM capitalizes on it, blast!) - we must not be afraid to take charge of our position. Today I am better off for taking that charge. I am well into my 5-year survival after treatment and removal and even that time is on my "Things to Crush" list. IT CAN BE DONE.

Lern2Do() M'kay?

It does not matter what your calling is, whether you want to write literature, act on stage, score a film, take that first step with someone, take that next step, quit smoking, drinking, etc - it's not about becoming a Gamedev. Do you want to succeed? Great! Just get the fuck off of your ass and stop making excuses. Stop letting problems dictate your life. Are there obstacles? Hell yes. Go around them, over them, under them or however you like just get around them and if they are the kind that persist - stay a few steps ahead so when you do trip up you have some wiggle room.

Can't afford to start what you want? Great - You can easily afford to create a game plan that will get you to a better spot to move forward. Can't program but want to develop software? No problem. Start learning with free online tools if you have to. Just get to it. Don't say "tomorrow will be better" because it won't be. It never is. Tomorrow is always more difficult in every regard. Do it and do it today, this minute.

Fin

The universe will never give you a hand on its own volition. It will never say "Gee, Bob and Karen sure do need a hand!" - NOPE. You have to understand that sometimes you have to take control and can't rely on your environment to have the right balance for you to begin. You need to recognize that sometimes, even in with its great geometry of chance, the universe may never roll  you a 20 - and you have to do whatever it takes to get to the finish line without its help. It's never success or failure - it's failure, failure, failure, failure, failure, (ad nauseam), success.

Take charge. Don't let time slip right by you until you have nothing to show for it except the empty silhouettes that haunt you (we call that regret, second cousin to the Ghost of Christmas Past). Be mindful of today, because you never know - it may be you who gets the next phone call.

Now dev things. Dev all the things. Be things. Do things. Go and be the ultimate version of yourself.