“I cannot be a man for wishing, so I will die a woman in grieving”
– Much Ado
Lots of realisations today.
Firstly, if you’re forced to choose between your mental health and game design, do remember to chose the former. Do not game design until you want to hang yourself. It’s bad for you. It’s bad for the game. It’s bad for the ceiling. Also, when it reaches the point that writing each word feels exactly, literally, like someone is hammering nails into your flesh, it’s okay – really – to stop writing. Even if you haven’t written anything yet. (Obviously, I don’t really believe this one)
Secondly, understand that part of your mental health issues may cause you to have the attention span of a hamster with ADD as well as all the other problems. This means you don’t have a lot of time. See point four.
Thirdly, I’m not very good at design – and that’s okay. Both realisations are important. You’d think that spotting you aren’t good at something would be easy, especially when you’re a depressive. But because I’m a depressive, I believe I suck at everything, so I can never actually tell what’s going on. But the more I do this, the more the writing gets easier but the designing doesn’t. Some people can pull mechanics out of their butt magically, but that’s coming like glacial ice. If this was design a setting or write a hundred characters or something, I could do that. That’s why I’m much better at writing supplements than I am at designing my own games. It’s frustrating but maybe I can now learn to let this terrible drive within me GO a bit, instead of constantly smacking myself around because I think I’m just not trying hard enough at design.
Fourthly, as mentioned, the problem with these short term things is you can never go back. I wrote about six hundred words this morning and they’re okay but they lack the wonderful Shakespearean patios I had going two days ago. But I can’t go back and fix that. I don’t have time. As a result I now have a space game about robot prostitutes and I’ve kind of lost the shakespeare (not to mention the nature and the forsworn, and most of the exile) but it’s way too late to rebuild now. You have to keep moving forward.
I originally wondered if I could do this Game Chef AS a 24hr project and I pretty much am, because of the ADD and the time off for suicidal thoughts, and because of that, I’ve given up caring about it being likely to win, or even good, and focussing on what you can get out of these really short term projects which is how to just keep moving forward, and cross the line into the world of Finished. It feels wrong to leave things crappy, and it’s actually much much harder than working at a regular pace (because deadlines make me suicidal, and because pushing towards completion forces you harder and harder up the anxiety curve and exposes you to more and more ridicule at a faster and faster rate, without the chance to even check yourself. But now I know what it’s like to just work forwards (and to do so while sick in the head).
I have a setting, I have the skeleton of a system. I have 1500 words already and most of that is introduction. 3000 words is hardly anything.
Fifth and lastly, this blog seems to be the best place to talk about my mental illness because nobody freaks out about it. Or nobody is reading it. Except Regis, who knows me of old, and has always got my back. Hey man.