Now What?

In games, I love “Now What?” moments. Places where you have to sit back and think for a moment and choose the best path. Where sheer impulse takes a back seat to methodical reasoning and tact. In life, I hate it. With a game I have the option to try again, there is no difference, the choice is without meaning or consequence. So when put into a similar situation in meatspace – I freeze; often unable to continue or think of the situation with the correct perspective.

So what does that have to do with anything? I’m stalling out on Thief. The big list of things isn’t done yet, programming is slow, art is slow and I can’t think of what to do next. I can’t plan the steps ahead. I can’t figure out what to do when the very nature of the thing is so mercurial. All I can do is ask the artists what they’re doing and build some more levels. So, I’m frustrated without the feedback loop of progress. Yet at the same time I can’t complain. Everybody is volunteering and doing the best they can. Indie is hard.

What I find I need, what I always needed, is an Art Director. More than that, the project needs to find its center again. We need a common goal and a common view. I think the next step is getting a solid look and idea conceptually of the project. Then the artists will know what to do and how to do it. Then art will not have to be redone and we can move forward again, not wandering in the desert without direction.

So, now what?

-Oh right, jobs are stupid. I keep looking, but there is some serious worry on that. At the most I am looking for some kind of entry level job, maybe level design, maybe scripting or mission planning, maybe associate work. But here is Sunny San Diego, studios are closing and/or downsizing. So there are fewer jobs than there were, and the number of qualified candidates with real 9:00-5:00 job experience has suddenly become very large indeed. So what can I do? I mean I’ll keep looking and keep applying, but my prospects are becoming more bleak by the hour.
So with Thief, the point is to do the work to get the job, but the jobs may not be there when I’m done. It’s catch-22 all over again. I’m not just a college student, I don’t have loans holding me up, I have to work. I can’t just stay in school and get out when the weather is clear. I’m in the storm and I can’t see what to do, or where to go or even where I’ll be stepping a few feet in front of me. There is nobody out there going to save me. Sitting around will not help. These words will not save me. The only thing I can do is keep moving, keep trying, keep doing the best I can and maybe, just maybe, I can save myself.

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