I'm happy to announce that Alexia Mandeville and I have formed a new game company named Bodeville!
Bodeville is the realization of our dream of making games with complete creative freedom. I firmly believe that the only way to get this freedom is by not taking anyone else's money. Too many times in the game industry, people have been promised creative control only to have it taken away when the executives or investors decide otherwise. By self-funding, we are beholden to nobody but ourselves (for better or worse!)
Without a big pile of cash, we are starting small. The two of us will try to make an entire game and manage the business at the same time. We'll cut as many corners as we can without sacrificing the vision and the experience. The games will be smaller in scope than those from a 10 or 100 person studio, but we hope the story and soul will still shine through.
I hear a lot of conversation about quitting these days. "Quiet quitting" is all the rage. A former poker player has written a new book on quitting. And it's something that's been on my mind since I quit my job nearly six months ago.
I'll focus on why I quit rather than cover the multitude of reasons that others quit. And the reason is quite simple - because I wasn't happy!
On the surface it seems like an idealistic, irrational decision - quitting because of one's feelings. The money was good, and in theory working in game development was fun. Our depression-era ancestors surely would disapprove of leaving a good-paying job.
But how do you measure mental exhaustion, burnout? And how to value the ability to be present and energized for my family and friends after the day is done?
This is where I think the line between rational and irrational behavior in our society is misplaced. It seems that anything subjective or immeasurable is by definition irrational. It reminds me of economic theory, in which we are taught all about "rational consumers" who are always perfectly maximizing their utility. These models can't possibly place a value on the range of human emotions.
So yeah, I quit because I was unhappy. It's kind of like relationships! Of course, you want to try your best to make it work out, and give it a fair shot. But once you realize that things won't turn around, it may be time to go.