I wonder if this is even possible sometimes. Not just the project, but the whole prospect of this as a profession. I wonder, is it worth it. Long hours, hard work (that’s right I said it – anybody who disagrees that Game Design and Programming isn’t hard work had better be prepared to box). and less time doing the more important things.
The Fear that I have is really that – the loss of doing “important” things. When does this stop being a job and start being the important things? When does a goal become an obsession? At what point is the cost too much?
I have a problem, a flaw in my character. By nature, I feel that a person is what they do. By doing well at what they do, then they are doing well at what they are. Failure is not something that I consider. This is clearly a failing.
However, I feel that a person does not live for the sole purpose of working. Life is more than that. It is what happens in all the in-between pieces, and it is something that I take very seriously. For example, by nature I am not a lazy person (some would disagree, but they haven’t seen me working) but there is practically nothing that could get me to come into work on a weekend. Those are the days I work for, the time that I have earned to do what I want to do.
This is the dichotomy of character that is causing strife. I work for a living, and I go to school. Then when I have free time I work on the project. All I do is work, and if I want to get this done in time, for myself and the Team, that’s what I have to do.
But, the more important things want my attention too. Things with thoughts and feelings. Things that don’t understand that in 2 weeks I’ll be as done as I can be. Maybe I don’t understand either, since all I really want to do is sit, watch Clone Wars and maybe play a little Fable and Mega Man 9 and be with the people that I care about. But then the other half of my brain says, “No, we have to do this. This is important too.”
So to live the Dream, do I have to forgo the waking world? So I keep telling myself, in 2 weeks I can relax. With no looming deadline I can slow down. But will that happen? Can I slow down? If I do this for a living, will I get the chance to go slow and enjoy the important things? Or will I become that job? Will I stop being a person with a profession and just Live to Work? I don’t know. I think this is the part where you realize that being in games may not be all roses and flowers. I shudder to think of the stress involved if I own my own studio. I think I understand now why my former Professor decided to stop working on AAA titles and instead started working on children’s games for a larger publisher. Then it could just be a job, like everybody else has. Not a lifestyle.
I can see the person that I could become, where that’s all I do. My Dream corrupted into a fevered Nightmare. Living to work because it’s all I have left. The more important things left behind. The Dark Side is always there. The Shadow will always follow me letting me know to Slow Down. Forcing me to stop and look around and realize that work is just that – work. It will always be there when I come back. The Life that I have, may not be.