Dane. Designer.

Old Blog

The Tortured Indecision

Having the entire day laid bare before me, my biggest problem seems to be where to begin? Talk about a luxury problem, huh?

It’s honestly not an easy thing to come to terms with.

On the one hand it makes sense to start working full time with something as soon as possible, to secure some funding for the lean times.

On the other hand, since I’ve got a handful of months funded, what better way to burn through them than on the things I’ve been daydreaming while I’ve been stuck in a 9 to 5?

And I’ve had a lot of those day dreams. I mean, a lot.

I’m one of those people who’s cursed with too many interests and too many options in life. There’s another luxury problem for you. I secretly admire and want to be those people who burn for one thing, and one thing only and dedicate their entire life to it, and from that desire, create meaning.

Neal Stephenson said it best:

“I am fascinated,” I insisted, “That’s the problem. I am suffering from fascination burnout. Of all the things that are fascinating, I have to choose just one or two.”

- Neal Stephenson, Anathem, hardcover edn, Atlantic Books, 2008, p. 733.

Yes, I still have a burning desire to do games. I love games. Games are great. But other than the fact that the only larger company operating in Denmark, is my former employer, I’m also paradoxically struggling with on the one hand wanting to do large games, and on the other finding the process of doing exactly those kinds of games to be an oddly uncontrollable and often times frustrating process.

Regardless, short of a lottery win, or finding an unknown, but very generous rich uncle or a straight up miracle, there’s little chance of starting up a games company capable of doing the kinds of games I’d like to do, so that desire will have to take a rest for a while; which I’m actually happy to see happen just now.

I do wish games would grow up. That’s one of the things I’ve been proud to have been a part of at Io; Kane & Lynch did things with storytelling that I’ve yet to see other games pull off. It’s not rocket science; you’d think the games industry would be able to get their head out of Michael Bay’s ass for a moment and take in the putrid smell left in the wake of the ‘Louder, Faster, More’ mentality.

Which brings me to movies.

I love movies more than I love games. I’ve always known that, but haven’t really been in a position where I thought it was a viable alternative to chase. Denmark is a far from Hollywood. Hell, it seems even Hollywood is far from Hollywood. But then who knows, maybe one day…

Anyway, the closest I’m likely to come to movies anytime soon, is my sharing with seemingly half the globe, that most romantic of romantic daydreams: writing.

Yeah. I know.

I can’t even settle between wanting to do a novel, a graphic novel or a screenplay, so how the hell will I ever find the focus to pull off actual writing?

Beats me; but I keep coming back to it, and have often times made inroads, though I’ve yet to finish anything I’ve been genuinly proud of, not to mention anything that’s had substance to it. But it is unmistably a desire that keeps bubbling to the surface, and one I finally have that most precious of components to deal with: uninterrupted time.

Then there’s the whole design/programming/UX package, which more than any of my other interests has the curse/blessing factor of just being something that comes quite naturally to me. It’s the kind of thing I have to actively try to not do, to find time for my other interests. What a hassle, huh?

But I truly love it, and right now is as exciting a time to be a part of that as I could imagine. I’ve wanted the time to really dig into some of the things I’ve started with K2 as well as various other projects I’ve got sketches of lying about the apartment, but have found them daunting to tackle at night and on weekends; but perhaps now I’ll finally be able to do something about it?

And then there’s the mountain of books I’m either reading, or wanting to read, not to mention the myriad other projects I’ve always wanted to try my hand at.

At the end of the day it comes as much down to who I can do it with, as it does to what I do. Once I start working fulltime again, it’ll be web design for now. Maybe that’s what I’ll do for the next ten years; maybe I’ll seque back into games. I don’t know. All I know is that I want to do it with people I love and respect. That’s what it’s all about anyway.

And yet…

Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Columbian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.

- Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash, paperback edn., ROC, 1992, p. 254.