WARNING: THE FOLLOWING POST IS RATHER LONG .
Most of you know me by now, but you don’t know too much about me.
I won’t bore you with any details of my life, but I just had to share something.
When I was 11, I first got my hands on the modding tools for some Valve games.
I was eager to make maps and such so I braved the complex nature of the tools and did just that.
A few weeks later, I ended up finding something strange.
It was a game engine, UDK.
At the time I had no idea that someone like me can start creating games.
I had never really known what I had wanted to do.
Originally it was acting, then being a doctor, then I decided to write a book.
Unfortunately, I just didn’t like writing. It wasn’t fun.
After a few weeks of using UDK I realized that game development was my life.
I knew it’s what I need to do.
So because I am who I am, do you know what I did?
Take a guess.
I made myself fail at it.
When I had first decided to become a game developer, I had this great game idea in my head.
I still remember every single piece of it to this day.
As I started to develop it, I started to learn some tricks of the trade so to speak.
I began to understand the importance of certain aspects of game development through books and videos.
However, I did something I will never forget.
I threw the idea out.
I started again.
I convinced myself that I couldn’t make that game and I needed to start smaller.
I did that, I hated the game.
I started again.
It was because it was too big, I told myself.
So I stopped and started again.
This cycle went on for YEARS.
Then, one day that original idea came back to me.
The story and plot had to be tweaked a little, but I decided to make it.
Eventually, I threw it out.
I defaulted back to my original cycle.
Flashforward to earlier this year.
I had just created two games, both for jams and I hated them.
I knew, I knew that making small games was not for me.
So I decided to actually do something interesting: follow my passion.
The original idea I had was…old.
I didn’t really like it anymore.
I’d learned a lot since I first came up with it so I decided to start fresh.
I ended up with the best idea I’ve ever had.
And then I decided to roll with it.
Interestingly, I didn’t stop.
Then, one day, I decided I would take on a side project.
Something small, but still good.
Long story short: that great idea fell to the wayside and the side-project became my main project.
Because “The main game requires female Voice Actors!!! I can’t get that!!!”
I convinced myself that the main project was not supposed to be built first.
Flash to the past few days.
Slowly, but surely I became annoyed at the project.
I didn’t like it.
It was contrived, convoluted and just…not good in anyway.
I was confused.
I had spent months perfecting it, but I just hated it within a matter of a few days.
And then it hit me.
That project isn’t what I want to do.
It was a ruse, a waste of time.
I realized the truth: I had used the side project as an excuse. When I created that large, awesome idea I stated that I would no longer “settle” I would create what I had passion for! The truth was that I settled. I settled for the side project because I believed that I couldn’t create something better.
The reason I came to realize this, was by thinking about a great idea the other day.
I noticed, involuntarily, I kept attempting to put to idea out of my head.
I had conditioned myself to accept passion, I made myself hate what I love.
I ruined the one thing I believed would be my life.
I know this may all just seem like the ramblings of a mad-man, but I wanted to share this for a reason.
When that great idea comes to you, don’t let it go.
Don’t delude yourself into thinking your not good enough to do it.
Don’t pretend like you’re doing something right and just by blocking passion.
Instead you’ll end up like me.
At the end of the day, passion will always trump ability.
See, what I learned is that your abilities will grow as you use it; passion will grow when you don’t.
Make the game you want to make.
Make the game you love.
Make your life into what you want it to be.
Never give up.