I don’t currently work for a game manufacturer. I don’t run my own gaming company. And I don’t even have one fully complete table top game to my name. So what authority do I have to write about this? Exactly because I’m a new, like you (maybe) and the deeper I go down this rabbit hole of a poor life choice the less I’ll remember what it was like just starting out. My hope is that this virginal ectoplasm will resonate with new creators in a way that more seasoned opinions cannot.
Truth I: It’s going to take time… lots of fucking time.
This one hit me like a ton of stretch goal resource bricks. Everyone knows time is money, but time is also your family, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your level 90 Paladin, the latest Game of Thrones that everyone’s watched but you (Spoiler Alert: Dumbledore dies), the 3 miles a day you promised yourself to run, the lunchtime Krispy Kreme that wasn’t going to tempt you because you made the extra effort to pack kale and quinoa salads in your newly minted Target bento boxes.
You have to enjoy your project (and to some extent the act of making it) more than many of those things, because every minute that you exist is a minute all those enticements lay down their lures, and if you don’t love what you’re doing they’ll win. Easily.
This started as casual conversations with my then co-worker, and now co-designer Rachel. Soon we were doing 2 hour extracurricular meetings, then 3, then we took on another designer Dain, now we’re meeting 3 hours twice a week in addition to our self-imposed homework assignments and occasional weekend forays. Plus, our meetings are overflowing with tasks that quite frankly seem to multiply rather than diminish our work.
Next we need to buy a Squarespace, design a website, make a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, write a blog, send promotional dick pics, commission a Chinese manufacturer, test prototypes, force friends to playtest in exchange for pizza / sexual favors, and a bunch of other shit I’m forgetting or don’t know about yet.
I’ve already sacrificed a fair amount in each of these arenas and I doubt I’m even burning at 50%. This is no longer just some fun late night drunken conversation with friends. It’s work. Real work. But I love it.
In a future post I’ll stop channeling my inner curmudgeon and actually speak to the positives of devoting so much time to your passion project 😉