rough version of my past few months

Writing this post is not going to be easy for me….I have been avoiding to write here, thinking that I really don’t want to appear as always bad mooded, depressed and anxious, but that it seems to be my main concern in life, the thing that keeps coming back, my past haunting me, the present not really doing my much favors either.
I know it would be easy to just summarize the things that happened, that are easy to sympathize with. If I would simply tell about the struggles that everyone is seemingly able to relate to easily, like, the christmas time being somewhat stressful, new years eve, my 3 year olds birthday, though the truth is, most of the struggle regards those holidays is only the anxiety of having to interact with people I …struggle to interact with, if my family in germany is reading that: I’m sorry, it’s how it is….and I can’t even explain it to you in a way that you would fully understand, I think.
Then there were events, like my daughter getting pneumonia and being in hospital for a week, with lots of sleepless nights, not to mention worry and suffering. My plan was to actually somehow use the holidays weeks to not have to get my daughter to daycare (her daycare was closed over holidays) and SOMEHOW relaxing and trying to not think about work for 2 weeks…..but turned out, with that 1 week of hospital and practically 1 week of aftercare, that it was only what….1 or 2 days that I actually had somewhat of a bit of restful time? which was before the hospital…so it feels like nothing went how I wanted it to be and I’m practically still burned out, just, instead of being burned out by mostly game dev and my constant anxieties, now it’s also life stuff in general…..
and it DOES NOT help that I keep bashing myself for not doing enough, that despite friends telling me that I probably need some time off and I agree with that….it doesn’t take my fears and anxieties away…….that I have to build up a business, HAVE TO be a reasonable and responsible adult, that I have to take care of my child, somehow SHOULD take care of myself, that, if I ever want to fulfill my dream about making games for a living, like actually living from it, that I would need to do more, that I would be lazy and that I should have all the time I need to actually work on my game….BUT I barely get to open Blender or unity, while I really want to see the game to become what my vision for it is, I’m overwhelmed with all the anxieties, that I don’t know if I can make it, that I feel as if it will take forever, that my skills aren’t good enough to satisfy the people who would actually want to buy my game, that I can’t make my company selfsustaining with my income from selling games……there are so MANY freaking worries, all the time, which are making it even harder to actually work, giving me more food for my brain to dismantle myself, to question everything I do, because it feels as if I’m proving to myself that it’s right, that I’m not doing enough….that my company likely fails…that I’m likely not gonna be able to lead a whole team of people to make the game I’m dreaming of, that everything is likely gonna fail etc.
and whom am I to believe that it could be any other way? considering how my whole life is practically full of all those things I never had really control over, things just happening to me, pushing me down.
*takes a deep breath*
I hate it so much! that I feel helpless, that I feel anxious all the time, that I feel like everyone must judge me for not doing good enough, that I hate myself, that I have inherited so many bad things people told me throughout my life!
I hate that I can’t just shake it off and act as if everything is fine, because it comes through eventually, it always does and then I wonder, where I’m even taking the strength from….what keeps me going.

well…actually I do know….I kept some things close to my heart, always and I didn’t allow anyone to destroy those…..my imagination, my drive to create, my love for animals, dreaming, my passion for new things I’m discovering and can learn about.
It sounds a bit cheesy if I’m honest, but I think those are the things, that I want to live for….the “what could be” in a positive way…..
Games are a big part of my life, because they allowed me to experience and “live” so much of those traits that kept me going and alive.
It’s probably also why I want to make fantasy games, fantastic worlds to immerse into, that are not avoiding touch of reality, but at the same time allow you to see the world with different eyes.

hm.

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I honestly don’t know where to get time from ^^”

I’m trying my hardest to keep up with everything, from social media, private life, game updates business stuff etc. but I have to say it’s very stressful…. to the point that I’m sometimes a little bit worried about my health, since I barely get any quiet and peaceful time and even if I do, I might feel guilty about not doing enough or wasting time.
Such was the case when I started my day today…I have been working over-hours through the weekend and days before, as much as I was able to, to squish some bugs in my game, prepare some social media material, making plans, responding to e-mails…add more features in general, set up forum topics on the steam forums, upload the game on steam (again) to see if everything works and is ready for release…
So today I felt like it was almost impossible for me to work on anything, so I mostly tried talking about my stress to friends and taking everything slow by mostly watching the sales/wishlist/views numbers from my steam store page, checking on various platforms, if there are messages I need to respond to and then just browsed the Internet, practically watching random youtube videos in hope it would help me relax a bit.
I think it did, but it feels sometimes hard, when I think I need to justify what I do somehow and could be criticised for it :/
but that’s MY fear.

So I have been releasing my game yesterday on steam and I felt so sick, that my stomach felt like turning upside down, because I was so afraid of the feedback I could be getting, since I have set the price quite high and I’m still not sure about, if I keep it that way, but I want to see how it goes first. It is my income after all, which I mainly use for developing the game (and future games). A lot is hanging on it and I do think that the game will be worth the price, when I get the game to the stage I’m planning to (and think I’m capable of) I’m only slightly unsure about how long that will take, since I’m working alone and I have already noticed how much a simple cold can knock me out and “steal” my time…

btw. end of this month 22-23rd of November I will have a booth for EmberSparkz, showing off Critters 😉 in Vaasa, Finland on vaasagamedays.com
so if anyone is nearby, you can come visit me there 🙂

oh and not sure if I have mentioned, that I’m branching out a little bit into merchandise, since I don’t know how my game will go exactly and I was looking for t-shirt print for my logo anyway for that game days event 😀 and since I’m not having to do any shipping and printing for it, but just upload and arrange designs, I thought I can as well make it accessable to everyone who is interested 😉
You can find me on redbubble: https://www.redbubble.com/people/farelle/works/28698998-embersparkz-logo?asc=u
and on Displate : https://displate.com/displate/357438/gaming?q=Farelle

will likely update those sites with more things, not only Critters or EmberSparkz related, when I have time ^^

uhm….I probably forgot to talk about something, but my daughter is demanding my attention again….so….

I think I managed well, past 2 weeks ;)

Of course, I would have liked to progress much more with the actual game (and I feel like I keep repeating that *rollseyes*), but I’m finally through all the managing stuff for steam and got my steam store page up 😀
http://store.steampowered.com/app/717280/Critters__cute_cubs_in_a_cruel_world/

this also includes the very first trailer I made for the game 🙂

If anyone is interested in my process for that:
I got Hitfilm for it (since it’s free and has a composing part as well, for text and effects) and watched some very good, tutorials for it. I also applied simple moving on principle to it, which is simply: rough it out and continue moving on, one clip/step at a time.
In this case, I looked for some music that could fit to my game and made some footage of my game with Bandicam and then I imported those files into the project and started shortening and cutting them down 🙂
With a bit of a system, I was trying to make cuts on noticeable music changes and also some faster moments in the footage match up with some of the music. The same goes for the text I was overlaying later ^^
I also always tried to remind myself, that a trailer shouldn’t exceed 1:30 minutes and that the first 30 seconds are usually deciding, if the trailer hooks (based on lots of stuff I have read over the years)
I probably haven’t done best job with that, but I tried to think of which information is most important for me to convey : the games name, that it’s early access and that it will be on steam and what the game is about, hence why I chose to build in those little text overlays, which are practically naming what I can’t really show from game footage alone, since I’m still working on implementing the variety needed to show it properly (besides colors changing)
I think it’s probably also helpful, if I post the most compressed and best tutorial I was finding for Hitfilm 😀 thanks to him, it felt so easy to understand how to use the program 😉 https://youtu.be/7rXWTJzmbZ8

uhhhh so yeah 😀 I’m happy that everything went well, the only thing that bothers me, is that I couldn’t make the release work for 31st of October 😮 , but therefore I have now time to develop on the game until release into Early Access and then I will likely update it immediately, so it just means more stuff for everyone who gets the game :3

also tried out today on how it would work out for me, to use a physical to-do list, I think it’s going well, helps me to keep my brain a little less scattered :3

*squeeeeks* I’m so excited to get this game out to everyone and to be able to keep working on it 😀

Eventful week, in a sense ;)

I feel this week was indeed quite full of things. I started off by meeting someone to get evaluated, if I could maybe get an extension for the grant I have been working with the past 5 months and I hope it goes through, but it for sure makes and made me very nervous, because I have no idea how to evaluate my work and how others might see it and what exactly would be even “good” criteria to getting that extension of the grant through and on monday I’m gonna have a meeting about that again 😮 .

I know that I’m trying my best to make things work somehow, which is why I try my hardest currently to get the Steam Store page done and then evaluated and hopefully approved, so I can put it up on steam as “coming soon” and then hopefully! at 31st of October I would release my game into Early Access on Steam.

Honestly, I would have liked to wait with that for a bit longer, but my grant is running out at the end of October, I had struggles to deal with, that I really didn’t expect, some that could have been avoidable, but were due to my inexperience on how to work and stand up for myself. It all has drawn everything out and not only did I not feel good about it, I sort of bashed myself for it.
I try not do, but sometimes it’s hard when I think “I could have done better” even if that’s not true, since I really try my best to research and figure out things the best I can…..honestly…who knows what more could have gone wrong, if I wouldn’t be like that 😉
hah….I sidetracked a little bit.

Soooo….I made a bit of a deal with myself, to crunch through work until end of the month (trying to not overdo it though). That includes, setting up steam store page, making materials ready for promotion(videos, art etc.), adjusting my plans, getting my game into a relatively stable and feature complete state. I don’t know honestly, if I will get all the features in, especially the more complex ones, like save functionality….not even sure if I should do it, since I don’t know how to do that yet and I expect it to be quite a lot of work 🙂

Also…what the hell! I need to make a trailer for my game, from game footage 2 weeks away from the launch o.o and I have never done Video editing like that XD sure I edited some Videos while I studied, but I think I don’t really have a clue 😛 So that will be a first timer and I hope it’s at least gonna turn out moderate lol……
I really feel like graphically my game isn’t ready for such exposure of it’s graphics…>.< buuuuut that’s the version that is gonna come on steam…and if there are any extras, in case I manage to develop some more when the store page is up, I guess I can just update everything as needed 🙂 Maybe I can make the Video relatively “neutral” as in, it shows current game, shows what’s in it…..hmmm I will see what the results will be o.o
Also I wonder how my german accent would sound like if I would do a voiceover/talk ….could I pull off some sort of scientist explaining the life of critters like a documentation? XD

oh….and there are images to share 😀 I finished my promo picture, which btw. took much longer than I wanted it to…with occasional: sitting on my pc without anything happening to it for weeks….>.>
critterfamily27_fin_s.png
I’m honestly very proud of it 😀 only thing I don’t like, is that for some reason I chose this really weird format and never checked on what I actually needed rofl….which kinda bit me, when I tried to use this image on the steam store-page stuff o.o

dec60baf-a97a-47e1-bce0-6805fee5bdda.jpg
hihihi first preview of my steam store page :3 I would be lying, if I would say that this wouldn’t make me somewhat excited 😀

oh and then I also updated all my EmberSparkz pages with my new image and even started work on a Critters own Sub Webpage on my main domain 😀
http://www.embersparkz.com/critters.html

what’s not so visible, is that I made all the “capsules” or images necessary for steam ready and I also created a unique Logo for Critters 😉
And just yesterday I have implemented food and “dead bodies” decay to the game, as well as fruits regrowing on bushes 😀

so yeah….quite lot’s of stuff that happened this week 😀

So much! So few time *sighs*

I think it’s about time I start prioritizing the actual game development. I have put much more time in trying to do business related things, than developing and it honestly has annoyed me quite alot. Not to mention, that I also had some personal issues “to deal with” again and those things just keep eating time, if I want to or not….and then on top of that I might have also felt quite depressed about not feeling like I’m progressing properly and feeling as if I ruined everything by not being active enough on social media etc.
Last 2 weeks were stressful to say the least…..
But I’m slowly crawling back out of that hole again and I was even pondering, if I get the time and to gather some experience with making Videos, if I should make a stream of me working on something.
I have no idea how that would go, cause I’m actually a quite shy person and not thinking that I’m very photogenic OR videogenic XD for that matter…..but I am curious about at least giving it a try.
(If someone wants to see it, please tell me so XD cause that could make a difference in how courageous I feel about it 😉 )
On a good note: I got to continue work on the final promo picture for Critters and my discord is still alive 😛 even though it’s not really “busy” in there XD. Also I might have found a solution for my grass bending/visibility problem with my cubs and have already implemented a first version of it.

Critters_GrassLowering.gif

sorry, I’m a bit overwhelmed :O

sorrygotabitoverwhelmed_s

below is the draft of what I actually wanted to publish :O – past 3 days, because I was just so desperately wanting to actually do game development that I got a lot done ingame, but not so much in documenting it (will add it for next week), so all I can give right now are the notes i made through the week and this image of me getting overwhelmed by Critters 🙂
monday:

  • first part of the day was trying to figure out what i need to do for a grant extension application
  • made applications for grant payout
  • then spend rest of the day waiting, for my daughter to be seen by a doc, cause she was coughing for 2 weeks(it was awful btw. that day was just horrible, mostly about the “having to wait for hours for no apparent reason and having to carry consequences for others making mistakes…”)

tuesday: iam too sick to work and my daughter was home with me, also somewhat sick, but luckily she got a lot better

wednesday: husband is out of the house whole day and I’m needing to take care of everything at home alone, luckily i could get her to daycare, but i’m still sick, not feeling very well and I’m anxious of the work I have to do, because it has to do with finances, which I’m not very comfortable with….