Month: December 2014

Outside support in life and in creative endeavours

I wrote something for a website, about In A Bind. Re-reading sparked some thoughts.

Ben Neumann
is mentioned. His contribution in the process was very real. It’s impossible to mention everyone responsible, unless you devote pages to it (as Ryan North did in “To Be or Not to Be: That is the Adventure”) going back to the big bang. Causality and chaos effect and all that.
But, at the risk of wittering on or diminishing the importance of anyone’s involvement, I want to say that
a) Without the support of a bunch of people, it would not have gotten to this point. Hopefully, you all know who you are. I have already written a lot of thanks, so I’m not going to go through the list again.
b) Ignoring the fact that my birth is the direct result of other people, as is my childhood environment etc., if this game is successful, it’ll be because of the hundreds of hours I’ve spent on it. I need to spend a few hundred more, just to get to the point of production. And whilst all feedback is appreciated, I can’t expect folk to be as invested as me. I do have psychological barriers. Worries about being good enough. Much as it would lovely to have someone holding my hand, telling me that – yes – everything will be OK, this is not something I can expect. Nor is it even necessary beneficial to have that coddling.

Ultimately, it’s a balance. Just as in life it can be helpful to share emotional problems with others, it can be helpful to share a creative project with another. Get another perspective.

If you have aspirations or reaching out beyond minds that exactly mirror your own, it can be invaluable to gain an understanding of how others will react. Playtest your games. Perform your songs in public multiple times. Rehearse in front of an audience. Solicit feedback.

At the end of the day, the focus is on us. I can’t expect anyone else to do my marketing, to do my work for me, or to be there each step of the way, tell me what I should be doing and reassure me that it’s within acceptable standards.

I worry that backers will be disappointed with the art.

I worry they’ll be annoyed at the delay.

I believe that at some point in the future, there will be a 2nd edition and it’ll look better. I worry that the ‘early adopters’ who supported me will be annoyed at that.

I think all of that is unavoidable. Designing to displease no-one will result in blandness. Striving for perfection in every line will result in stiffness, uncertainty, and those emotions show through.

The final thing won’t be perfect. Each card will be physically drawn and lettered. Some marks on the page will be questionable but ultimately, everything is. There will be some mistakes that show in the final product.

But it’ll be a reflection of me. To paraphrase, I just need it to be that, honestly, and nothing more.

In the end, I hope that people will like the pictures. I could spend another year doing them, but there will never be any guarantees.

I will still ask for feedback – let folk look over everything before it’s sent to the printers, just in case there are any obvious issues. But I need to trust myself.

Now is the time for me to do work.

Don’t rely on others to guide and support. It may be there. It may not. Some feedback should be ignored. Some should be listened to.

I am the judge. This is my project. People have seen my style and I’m not diverging massively from that.

I need to be confident.

Now is the time.

For me to do it myself.