Friday 12 May 2017

Why am I not making games right now?

Well, the short answer is exams.

The long answer is god damned exams.

The longest answer is that failing my exams will cause me a lot more undue stress and anguish that could be avoided by putting in a little more effort to pass them.

It's not that I believe I'd be turned away from a job because I got a D in sociology. It's because a lot of my friends and family believe that I care about school because I (somehow) do well in school. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I've been making games as a hobby for over half of my life and I know exactly what I want to do. I want to make more video games. I don't mean I want to work for Ubisoft or Valve, I want to work for myself.

I'm also aware that this is a hell of a risky gambit, and I'm definitely not throwing myself into it blind. I've been preparing and constantly learning specifically so that I can get the best chance at achieving what I want to achieve.

So why do I need exams?

The short answer is that I don't. The long answer is that I really don't. The longest answer is that they provide a purely psychological safety net. They give me and others around me the sense that even if my crazy gambit doesn't pay off, I still have something to fall back on.

However, if my crazy gambit doesn't pay off, I'm not going to give up. I'm going to get some menial job at a supermarket and keep going until I make it. Am I going to miss out on getting a job as a cashier because I got a C in A-level maths? I doubt it.

So why am I still even trying to do well in exams?

Let's skip to the longest answer, because even after two attempts that joke got stale. The longest answer is because I'm stuck in my persona as an academic, and my personality is changing faster than my persona. If nothing else, I'm scared of disappointing my peers and breaking away from my established persona would be just that.

Funny how I'm able to admit that to a white screen of black letters, but not to any of them directly.

I'm not posting this on reddit, so I don't think many people will see this. If you are reading this, wish me luck.


Also, you don't get tutorials on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays. This is purely for the sake of my own sanity because doing 7 tutorials a week alone would actually kill me.


  1. Alex, I love your drive. So many people in general are so afraid to work for their dreams.

    I often visit your blog, but this is my first time commenting. I am older now, and got into gamedev late,... Except for years I worked on prototypes and games in secret.

    I was embarrassed. I thought people would think I was wasting my time.

    Frankly, video games are hard. From a technical perspective games are hard, and from a production or business standpoint they are difficult and risky.

    You often have interesting things to say, and you are clearly driven.

    Dont hide your passion man, it will stiffle it. You might be surprised how supportive the people closest to you will be.

    All that being said brother, keep focusing on your exams. It's a tiny price to pay now for more options later.

    I know you are determined, but when you are 45 and perhaps have a family, being able to get out of games (if you want to/ need to) will be a good option to have.

    Good luck, and keep on.

    1. Well that was more of a ramble than I intended.

      Tldr: games are hard - if you are actually good at them, be proud and don't hide it. Finish school anyway, you never know where life will lead you.

    2. Hey, thank you!! I really appreciate you commenting, and I agree with you. I'm not going to quit school despite the short-term temptation- I like to think that I rarely act impulsively. :)