Six months into the unofficial new era of my life, I’ve graduated from cautiously optimistic to straight up optimistic. There are several welcome contributing factors to this change.
As planned, I have focused on becoming a healthier person. That progresses. I’ve also been settling into the new job, and it’s starting to feel like a good fit. Most importantly, as I’ve come to know my new colleagues, my positive first impressions have borne out. As to game design, that has become a modest but rewarding part of my daytime job, and I hope to do more in the future.
What does that all mean for Mindful Mammoth? I still don’t know. Mostly.
I do know that I will be retiring from Patreon. Patrons have been key to my survival, and I will remain forever grateful. At the same time, Patreon was never a good fit for my projects, nor for my limited social media skills. Given that there is no way to put a Patreon campaign on hiatus or sabbatical, the only real option is to exit. Therefore, sometime in the next week, after giving this post a bit of time to respectfully percolate, I’ll delete the Patreon account. Most of the posts will still be accessible on the Mindful Mammoth website, which will persist for the foreseeable future.
What else? It may be that personal well-being and indie game development are incompatible goals, at least for me. Games take time. So do friends, community, and physical health. It’s hard to do all those things all at the same time.
I continue to dream. I can’t not. Lately, I’ve taken some modest steps towards learning Godot, as a non-evil alternative to the increasingly evil engine that is Unity. My aim is to work on that, and other projects, as interest permits. Given that I enjoy creating games more than posting blogs (sorry), I won’t be posting updates, but only punchlines. If anything ever does get to publishing (or near-publishing), I’ll say so. Otherwise, probably not.
My biggest takeaway from this decade of idealistic (quixotic?) curriculum development is that the world is a far less fair place than I’d thought. My success is due at least as much to luck and privilege as to skill and effort. It teaches me that we all need to be active in fighting for equity – to the extent that we can do so safely, given health and money and such. To be silent when one has the ability to speak and act is to be complicit in destruction. I have been ignorantly and naively complicit in the past. And I’ll surely continue to make mistakes into the future, but I can and do aspire to be a net good.
A nation without a social safety net is not truly a nation of opportunity. To be able to take risks, you need to know that there is a bottom, a place beyond which you cannot fall. I had that. Many (most?) do not. Moreover, a leader who heroizes risk-taking without similarly supporting a safety net is merely an entitled asshole. There seem to be a lot of those around lately.
End of polemic.
And so, I step away from Patreon with gratitude. After ten years of going my own way, I’ve finally landed in a place where I believe I can use my skills for good, while also being a healthy human. I was able to take this risk because I had family and friends who offered both moral and material support. Not all are so fortunate.
If I go forward with indie games, it will be for healthier reasons. Rather than stressing and fighting and hoping to get a thing done before financial implosion, I can make things because I want to make them. Because I think they need to be made. Or not. Perhaps the work I do at work will as much as I can do. We shall see.
Thank you. Till next time,