It should be quite apparent by now that I’m no longer making daily posts. The reason? I’m actually working on the game. It might seem a bit ridiculous that I write less about the game development process when I’m doing more along the lines of actual, bona fide development, but there you have it. I’ve found that it’s quite difficult to work on Atma for an entire day, finally wrapping up whatever portion of code I’ve been tinkering away at, only to have to sit back down and spend the next hour or two forcing myself to come up with a reasonable post topic and then hammer out supporting details until the entry feels substantial enough for me to publish without leaving behind the bitter aftertaste associated with cheating readers out of meaningful, worthwhile content.
Could I continue making daily posts? Certainly. But I don’t want to, and there are multiple reasons for this:
First, knowing that my long hours debugging and optimizing code are just leading up to me needing to spend a few more hours authoring another blog entry quickly wears on my desire to do work of any sort. Even if it may not seem like it (hopefully it is evident, though), I do put a lot of work into coming up with meaningful topics for discussion, and spend a significant amount of time on the vast majority of my posts — ensuring that what I write is both rational and substantial. The effort that goes into making my blog a place where meaningful and thoughtful expression is the norm isn’t something I necessarily dislike, but it’s certainly something that could lend itself to burning me out on Atma’s development much more quickly than any other factors might. I must reduce the workload on myself if I intend to make it through this with my sanity intact.
Second, and this is an issue that builds off of some of what I previously mentioned, there’s no way for me to maintain my standards for quality under a daily posting schedule. Coming up with a fresh post topic isn’t always a smooth process, and without resorting to a transformation of the site into a creative writing journal (which, while not an altogether bad thing, would hardly be in the spirit of a “development blog”), there’s no possible way I can keep up with producing original thought on a variety of game design and development topics every single day while working full-time on this game and trying to maintain some diluted form of a real social life. I’d much rather produce one good blog post a week than seven mediocre ones, and that’s really what the dilemma comes down to. Similarly, I think it’s healthier for the development of this game as a whole if I spend more of my time producing an actual, tangible gaming experience, and less of it wrestling with my creativity to pop out “just one more post topic”.
So here’s the deal: the Atma dev blog is moving to a weekend posting schedule. This gives me the time and space I need to work on bringing this game to life — thus “walking the walk” along that road my words have so dutifully paved for me — without introducing ridiculous amounts of stress that I’m not quite distanced enough from my own humanity to cope with. It also ensures that I don’t have to sacrifice my artistic integrity with watered-down, low-quality posts that are published in an effort to fill some sort of quota, rather than out of any real, earnest desire to discuss design philosophy. Two posts a week gives me a substantial amount of freedom in coming up with meaningful discussion topics, and fleshing out the commentary that will accompany them.
All that said, I’m terrifically excited to be working on Atma with as much dedication as I have over this past week, and the huge amount of progress I’ve made with the graphics engine and basic program architecture gives me high hopes for the game in which the thoughts and considerations I’ve shared over these past months will eventually converge. I’ll be seeing you tomorrow, a new post in hand.