Brain Vomit 11 - Why I Grind My Teeth

This is less a rumination on games and more just a 5 AM list of things that cause me to either consciously or subconsciously grind my teeth. Stress. Talkin' 'bout stress and stressors.

On the development side of 'things that keep me awake at night,' there's the fact that I should be much, much further along than I am in basically every facet of the game. It's not some creeping suspicion or looming bogeyman. I am not as far along as I should be, and that bothers me. There are a handful of reasons why, but in the end it boils down to not slamming my face into the code machine enough.

We'll get into why that doesn't happen enough in just a moment. But first, PUBLICITY!

The number one thing you'll hear about succeeding as an indie dev is that you have to build a community around your game. And then there's a laundry list of things you need to do in order to do that. In addition to developing the game, that is. But also alongside the game, because part of the core of building that community is having a solid game. A game that is eminently shareable is generally better, as people love sharing things they create or strange things that happen to them. Don't have that, and there's little room in the design to cram something like that in. Then there's social media, where the goal is 'just enough' saturation. Which could be a never-ending torrent of tweets and Facebook posts, or one or two a day. Or week.

But make sure you include pictures. And have a trailer. And a website with a splash page specifically for the game. And a press release for good measure.

And then there's the actual press! Get the names of everyone you think would be interested in your game (there are a ton of lists, which is nice,) and write them all personalized e-mails. Then send them repeatedly until you're confident you're in their spam folder or they've read your message. But remember, the biggest outlets probably have other things going on or other stories, so you should aim for the smaller ones first. But don't neglect the big ones, because that's where the most visibility comes from. Then do this with Youtubers. Of which there are millions.

Remember, though, if the game isn't good and/or doesn't look nice, you're up a creek with no paddle. So fix that up first and/or immediately. This holds for Kickstarter as well, but since money is a whole different layer of exacerbating influence, let's just lump it in there. Everything's more relaxing when money's on the line, right?

If this sounds like a man fallen to pieces, I suppose it might be. I regularly ask myself if I've wasted all the time I've put into this pursuit in general. Sometimes out loud, and the answer's no, but I worry that, at some point, the answer might be yes. Or if I'm already past that point and am just in denial. But I can't think about that, because I have an appointment with the dentist on Thursday to be irrationally worried about for no reason.

This is getting a bit personal. It's tooth pain. What're they going to do, pull the thing out? Is it even a cavity or is it just stress pain from all the tooth-grinding I do, which could lead to a root canal?

Iunno. I feel like this is the part where I should laugh maniacally, but I'm too tired for that. Lack of sleep is also a huge contributor to stress. I should be asleep. Five hours ago.