I’m hunting today. I’m trekking through the thick underbrush that is Internet seeking the most elusive of prey, indie contractors. I know they’re there, maybe to the left, maybe to the right. San Diego is full of them I find. Even more so than Los Angeles. Not big studios, heck, maybe not even consistent paychecks, but places to work really hard and make something good. I’ve found 3, in my area even. Resumes are already in transit.
I did find a few things in my hunt. Several of the websites I meandered into were no longer up. Meaning that the company that once held it up is no more. I’ve found that with a few studios too. They have job postings from 2005 and their site isn’t updated anymore. Maybe there is someone there, but they don’t answer when I call out. A ghost town of the internet. You can almost hear the echoes of the people that worked there, and probably now work someplace else. I wonder that one day, this site will go dark, the servers will stop supporting it, the kipple will overwhelm it.
I wonder about the context of such a thing. Have I moved on to a place where my thoughts need not be recorded? Probably not, heck, I could be building Halo 4 and I’d still post about my issues making the Grunt’s AI behave itself. I would probably refer to everything as some kind of code though.
Would I have given up? Nope. Not happening. I’ve put up with too much, conquered so many challenges. Staying up to 5:00AM for a week straight working is hard. Finding a publisher, pft, that’s cake.
So it’s official then – as long as I’m making games, I’m writing about it. When I retire I’ll have dozens of games and thousands of pages. People will refer to me as “prolific.”
Right, something else that I’ve found is that there are a few other studios in my area that are also looking for some possible publisher funding. They haven’t seemed to find it yet. They show concept art and hold it up saying, “If we had $50,000 up front and $800,000 over a year and a half, we could finish this.” Really? $800,000? For a side scroller? Aren’t we ambitious? It’s more than Sonic the Hedgehog cost to make and then they wonder why they don’t have any money. So can I find a publisher? I still think I can. Other people are looking and can’t find one, So What? They don’t have me.
-Yep, I know, that sounds egomaniacal. Yet, it’s true, they don’t.
– Speaking of places that don’t exist anymore, I had an odd, existential thought recently. I was reading about a Ma-Mor-Pa-Gah call Rome Rising or something like that made by a studio that dissolved like a witch in the rain. I was reading about the mechanics and the concept, and it all sounded quite good to me, but the studio got sidetracked doing a Star Trek MMO, and they didn’t have the resources to keep going.
The question that I got to was this – what happens to the worlds that are left behind? Online MMO worlds aren’t like regular games, they live. I mean, they have people in them that find meaning within them. Eventually, they clear out and people go on to other things and other worlds, like Planeswalkers at a Universal Buffet. The places that they held so dear and fought so hard for forgotten and eventually overrun by the digital monsters that populate the fringes. Entropy it seems, will eventually even come to Azeroth.
But then what? Pulling the plug on a world, especially one you’ve made seems terribly sad. I would expect tears to happen. Maybe I’m over thinking this. Maybe it’s as sinple as turning out the lights after Last Call. Then again, unlike history, there’s nothing left afterwards. The stories that exist are as fleeting as the places themselves. There for a moment, and then gone into the aether. In a hundred years, nobody will wander the ruins of Everquest or the tattered spires of WAR.
Hmm, I’m feeling an idea coming on. I wonder, after the places are dark, if they could be captured and stored. Added to a giant depository of topography. Bringing their creatures and their rules to an MMO multiverse. Create a rule system that allows the individual rules of each world to function, maybe by analog. A virtual world of virtual worlds. Sounds great, but it seems that too would eventually go dim.
So what? Am I saying that these are all a waste of time? Stop playing, go outside? No. In some way, maybe the worlds of MMOs are real worlds in a real sense, just sped way up. In a million years, nobody will wander the ruins of London or the tattered spires of New York. The people gone and the creatures that lived on the fringes would have taken over – beavers and foxes instead of dragons and unicorns.
I’m finding that even in these thoughts, I find myself drifting back towards the familiar. My own heretical hedonist viewpoint. If these places exist, if only for a little while, and they bring joy, then then that is their reason. The spaces, just that, spaces. Do I have an answer to these big questions? Nope, sorry. I don’t always have an answer and I don’t always know. If you ask me in person, I’ll totally deny I wrote that, but it is true.
These thoughts come to me because I’ve thought about doing an MMO one day. Late, after making my fortunes. A way to maybe retire. Ah, I kid nobody (since nobody reads this) I’m working right up until they actually put the nails in the coffin. But I think that there are ideas that could create an all new kind of online world. Something in the fabric of the genre itself. It’s in my head, gestating, and one day it will come out and be the best thing that I’ve ever done. Right now, I need to get there. The only way I really know how to- every time I do a project, it has to be my greatest work yet.