So, the first alpha build is out in the wild!
Now, friends are always going to be more supportive than the average stranger, so you have to take praise with a pinch of salt. But, based on the feedback, I think I’m seeing some genuine enjoyment of the game. Or, at least, the game’s potential, once certain rough aspects have been sorted out.
So it’s going well, better than expected, in fact! And,
I must say, I’m relieved! In fact, I’ll admit that I was actually feeling fairly anxious before the release, even a little depressed. Which might be surprising, for someone on the cusp of finishing their project. Especially since I’m a fairly emotionally stable guy in general, my usual mood is “cheerful, confident and optimistic”.
But this journey I’m on, this has so much of my hopes, dreams and resources invested in it. So much of my focus and effort this last decade has been leading to this moment. The pressure is starting to chip away at my usual calm cheerfulness, giving way to swinging moods and emotional churn.
Well, to some degree. Let me not get too melodramatic much here. But I’ve had my share of sleepless nights, of times when I can’t work because my mood makes me listless and unfocused. And there have been many times where I look at my work and think “This is shit. No one is going to buy this. It would be embarrassing to show this to the world.” And then I procrastinate on the net to avoid thinking about it.
I have had to work at confidence and optimism. I wrote this post not because I want pity or reassurance, but so that others can know that getting to this point wasn’t just a gambol through the daisies for me. That it’s hard, it’s hard to keep going, it’s hard to stay on course. And it gets harder, the closer you get to that moment of truth.
Be prepared for it to get hard, and come up with strategies to help deal with it when it does.
Me, I like motivational videos with inspiring music. Yes, many of them are kitsh and filled with oft-repeated cliches. And, amusingly for me, most of them are sport-related. But they work for me. I often watch them just after I wake up, to get me pumped up for the day. And I’ll put on soaring orchestral music, or read inspiring quotes from people I admire.
I hurl these like weapons against that negative, self-defeating voice that whispers in the back of everyone’s mind. In the moments when my self-belief fails me, I look to these things to prop me back up.
I’ll also watch cinematics and listen to music from my favourite games, to remind myself of the emotions I felt while playing them, that love. To remind me of what I’m working toward, for the times when it’s hard to remember.
So, thanks for the feedback, guys. It’s given me a second wind, motivation wise. After reading everyone’s comments, I went for a long walk. And I was smiling the whole way. I feel euphoric, optimistic, eager to get cracking.
I may just be able to pull this off!