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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #186 (Uncertain Future)

     It's a week of nervous pacing back and fourth. I truly have no idea what my life could be like come December and it's pretty darn scary. I could pick and choose, but there's also the very realistic chance of rejection to account for. 

     Job hunting sucks, but it looks like this is just how its gonna be all September. I'd like to get swept off my feet next week and have a 6 digit salary put in my lap to finally put a countdown clock on my stupid $50K+ of debts, but I gotta be emotionally prepared for worst possible scenarios too.

     I really hope I can just find a place to make cool games and apps. Many doors ahead... Which ones will open?

At first, this came to mind for the header, but doesn't really make sense if I'm 
trying to find the shortest path to glory.
Hopefully I don't have to go through 8 bosses before I can be my own. 😅
  • More Phone Interviews & Applications
  • Researched Places to Live and Costs of Living There
  • Studied Up on Prospective Companies
  • Watched Hours and Hours of Programming & VR Tutorials to Stay Sharp
  • Got One of those Hand-Grip Things I Saw Deku Using in My Hero Academia (so I can at least kinda workout while I'm at my desk all day)
  • New BGP Trainer Battle Video Went Up (trying to keep interest going during this humongous detour from consistent updates)
     Lessons Learned:
  • Apparently, the secret to getting tons of job offers at once in a timely manner is by using ZipRecruiter. (Dave Ramsey was right again!) 
     A bunch of job opportunities came in at once, and one of the Indie Incubators got back to me just after Gamescom! Things are looking up. This is the week where the elements line up. Hopefully by October I'll have a job 12 month "get this new life started" plan all lined up and ready to go.

Running out of options for Florida based game studios since Universal won't even look my way.
This new branch of a North Carolina company coming to Orlando is probably my last shot at staying 'home'.
     This week I'm in talks with a bunch of companies I applied for. I tossed my resume around to any and everything that looked fun to do. From small game studios, blockchain startups, and VR/AR tech spots across the country, to the big names like ABC Mouse, Firaxis, Magic Leap, NASCAR Heat, Google, and Facebook (sadly, Nintendo didn't notice me 😢). 

     Definitely crossing my fingers for the game focused ones. The goal here is to be working on something I can be proud of and hyped about during the day, then squeeze in a couple hours of BGP progress at night and on Sundays. And if I really am getting as good as I claim, then even with that timeframe the game outta be out before 2020 (or I'll be very disappointed with myself, again...).

     Then after that I can chill out. No matter how successful that game turns out, I mainly just want it to exist. For me to point at and say "I made that happen." As long as I follow the Dave Ramsey plan to get rid of debt for good I'll be able to live comfortably at any software engineer salary forever. I'd just still like to be able to chase the American Dream on the side. My version of buying lottery tickets I suppose. 

Imagine the luck of somehow getting with one of the companies that pays like
stable AAA but treats employees as well as Silicon Valley titans and indie studios do.
    So with a respectable game industry job the sense of urgency and desperation will be gone, and my life won't depend on my pony game coming out by a certain time or selling an exact amount of copies. If I create a smash hit, hallelujah, if not, I'll still be living the high life and making cool stuff. 

     Out of all the recruiters and HR managers that reached out, I'm sure I'll strike a deal somewhere before October. Then it's a matter of setting up an exact living plan. Got a bunch of salary ranges, apartments, and living expenses bookmarked and plotted into a financial spreadsheet. Planning out how I'm going to kill my student loan and car debts within 2 years (hopefully 1). Then maybe I can finally start to enjoy being my 20's a little. Just need to know which route I'm headed towards.



These are the heroic patrons keeping me going during these trying times.
Can't thank you all enough for reminding me every day that BGP is a good idea and needs to exist.
     Oh man. I know you guys haven't been hearing much from me, but I'm truly thankful for your help. It's all hands on deck while I get the next year planned out, but once I get rolling there's gonna be some gamedev every week. Or at the very least, something notable every month. Especially since I plan to spend at least 18 hours a week on BGP. (Social life can wait a bit longer.)

     Soon I can start piling up Patreon bucks for marketing efforts, like the upcoming Magfest indie showcase (which I should be getting submission results for this weekend).

     As far as the incubators and publishers go, they're kinda late at this point, so I won't really be able to use the funding til BGP is at least feature complete. And even then, I might be able to self fund trips to expos across the country it if I get a salary big enough.

     My main worry is ending up somewhere that doesn't allow me to keep chasing the dream of seeing this project to the end. I got started with programming specifically to make a game like this so in my heart there's no going back on that promise to myself. But if I agree to work somewhere in exchange for a 6-digit salary, I'm going to give them the same 110% I put into BGP for the bast majority of my workweek. 

     Honestly, this could probably dramatically improve the game's quality anyway. I bet I can learn a ton by working alongside gaming pros and even get feedback from some seriously knowledgable mouths. For now, let's just see who wants to fly me out for onsite interviews next week.

Looking forward to what the future holds.

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