No news can also be bad news.
It has been a couple of months since my last blog post, and in that time, there has not been a lot of encouraging news about the game industry, business, or life in general. We have often heard, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.” More specifically, I do not want to spend a lot of time and effort whining (or whinging, if you prefer) and filling this Gamecraft blog with negativity. However, that can result in a very quiet site sometimes. That said, it is past time to provide an update, despite its somewhat unfavorable tone. (Besides, with 475,830 spam comments rejected and very few actual comments, and fewer informed opinions, evidence is that few will read this anyway.)
The positive is that we are still alive and kicking and, with Goodsol Development, we continue to publish and improve the best solitaire games on the planet. Nevertheless, what has been appreciated in the past as fantastic fun, quality workmanship, and excellent support is now just expected from us as par for the course, and rarely recognized nor appreciated. If “the squeaky wheel gets the grease“, then perhaps by eliminating any squeaking wheels from our products, nobody cares anymore.
Winter of disappointment
The overwhelming feeling over the past several months has been one of disappointment. Nothing catastrophic has happened, but the total weight of one minor setback after another, and one dissatisfying interaction after another, without many positives to offset them, is definitely sapping my remaining optimism. At first I was interpreting most of this solely in terms of the game industry, or even just our little part of it, but it is now clear that the same type of problems run throughout our society and culture. This realization does not inspire a hopeful mood in me.
Still, the Richard III interpretation of this section title provides something on which to hang my hopes. After all, there has to be a thawing in the spring (whenever that comes), and if my general expectations have fallen low enough, it makes it much easier for me to be pleasantly surprised. There have to be more people out there who do not automatically approach every interaction with the thought, “what’s in it for me?”
In other words, there is nowhere for my attitude to go but up. Actually, I have fallen to a very succinct phrase that describes it perfectly, but since the command verb is an expletive, I will go ahead and leave that to your imagination.
Given the current situation, we are making a slight switch away from “business planning” and toward “take things as they come“, especially since something significant is likely to change our course in the short term anyway (or else there may not be much of a long term at all). Independent game development has become (practically) unsustainable.
As part of this shift, I am reorganizing my general schedule, compressing the business functions (which have been generally unsatisfying) into just a few days each week, leaving the majority of my time for pure (hopefully, uninterrupted) development work, which is what I truly enjoy. After any client needs are met, I will be focused on designing and building the kind of games I want to make.
The next game industry crash is already underway, but I will not go down without a fight!
Anybody who wants to prove me wrong can do so, easily, by hiring me for game development. You can find my résumé linked from my online portfolio.