Monday, January 19, 2015

Only money can solve certain problem

Today one of my team member told me that he will not have any more free time to work on the game. He just quitted his old employee job because he's tired of that. Now he found a new job he wanted to try and he's going to go full-force with his new life. This came with the cost of one hobby disappeared.

Life, dreams, hobby and money

Originally he planned to finish all leftover work on Duel Otters before moving on, but looking at the progress, its safe to assume that it is not possible anymore. If I haven't asked him he would not tell me and stay silent! (My entire team are like this lol)

This is the case that making games without salary but only with believe cannot help.

My friends needs money to go on with his life. He cannot spend time that would otherwise surely get him money from real job for the game anymore.

I once thought that salary is not that important since we can split money later when the game is selling, but in this kind of case, I came to understand the importance of salary.

It seriously is the case that if I had salary to pay, I can keep one very skillful friend that has been fighting together with me since university days. (Even before this game started, we used to take part in many competitions together) And we can continue making games together. Only money can solve this problem. Sadly, I don't have any to give him.

I don't want to turn to venture capital for funding since I'm not making game for a living, I don't want a complex responsibility with financial institution. So the only way to work with me is to work first and hope for return later. This situation proofs that this working philosophy has its weakness. I lost one team member this way. But I also cannot turn to financial aids to fix this problem since its against my desire. This outcome is inevitable.

I myself have funding from Master Degree scholarship, so I can continue making games in my free time when I'm not studying. He on the contrary, his new work does not allow any free time to be risked in game making.

"Money is not everything!"

(I added this later) I know very well this extremely cliched sentence which my friend I mentioned, also replied me. But my point is ZERO money is a critical situation and needs special consideration. People who says "money is not everything" means it is currently OK if the income is not that high, but ZERO income is an entirely different story. How can you even survive the next afternoon with no money? It really feels insecure to work for something without salary, in this case, quitting day job and do a game dev with me would be exactly it. I'm a man with relatively no life, no girlfriends (I did many things but all my attempts failed lol), don't feel like getting car or house and don't even needs that much vacation or trip so I'm fine but surely my teammates is not the same.

We really came a long way

It's nostalgic when thinking about it now. How many games we have been through? I also got a free Wacom drawing tablet from him (my birthday) which I still use for creating artwork for Duel Otters today. We have to go separate way because of money issue is kind of sad, but this is life.

Exceed Camp #7 (I think its around 2010~2011) where this team name came from is where I got to work together with him for the first time. We definitely came really really long way isn't it!

It felt just like when I'm finishing up a great RPG games, standing at the final save point. Thinking about all experiences and monster I fought back from when I was Lv.1. Suddenly I can picture every stage, every dungeon, every town I have came across so far.

We sure have many sleepless night together when we were studying at the university, just because we have to finish the game before deadline! "OYOYO", "Theory of Everything", "Go Green: The Extinction", "Network Rider", "Son Ha"... that's some weird names aren't they! Even with Duel Otters where we already graduated I still manage to get him to do an all nighter with me for some days before release too, since we wanted to release the game before I go to Japan. It's painful and so much fun at the same time! (At least for me, I don't know about him though, lol)

Well, I'm really in Japan right now. I also came a long way in term of distance I guess. The heading picture is the laboratory's computer I'm writing this entry. I should be doing lab works!

I hope he goes well with his new life.

The new ideas

Usually when I came up with a new awesome ideas I would quickly blurt all of it to him via messenger or even phone him directly on that moment so that maybe someday we can implement it. I have to let go of that one, too.

This really became my habit because I have been doing this for like 6 years already. But from now on it looks like no use to tell him anymore. I normally used my notebook and Clear app in my iPod, but letting teammate know the detail surely is super-exciting! I'm a type of person who love to explain things, so when I'm explaining how awesome the idea can be I got very excited myself. It's sad too knowing that that moment is no more.

You won't know until it's happening to you. This "hollow" feeling that you can really felt when something that used to happen became no more. This is why I give much importance to every important event that happen in my life because I can never know if it is the last time this will happen or not. In this case I have no regret, since every time I put all my effort into explaining my ideas to him.

I wonder when is the last time I do that? When I was in Thailand I remembered the last time I phoned him was about making "Baseball Otters" as a standalone game you can play until you miss a shot. I'm glad I can remember that. I would still totally implement that one day! But with him things would be much more exciting I bet. (For Duel Otters fan that is reading this, be prepared for Baseball Otters!)

From now on

Anyway, the original objective of our team has already been fulfilled : We have a game available for anyone to play, not for competition. I think that one is good enough. Someday we would have to stop anyway, but sadly that day is today. Not for me though.

I will probably continue to take Duel Otters to the complete party game I imagined. I will have to take all his leftover work from him though. Maybe it will take some time to read all his code..

When I get back to Thailand on this semester's end, I will take the team to some restaurant as for a farewell and good luck to his new work. It's my treat of course!

(And I doubt he will read this entry. My entire team probably don't know the existence of this blog anyway, lol)

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