Two major events have defined the last couple of months. The first was the birth of my son, Alexander. He was born on December, 20th, at a healthy 9lbs 11oz (3.49 kg). You don't get much more major than that. The second event is a consequence of the first, but I resigned from Irrational Games so that I could stay at home to raise Alexander. I'm not a fan of paying someone else to raise my child -- it's expensive and I have a moral problem with it. I understand that some people do not have the luxury of staying home to raise their children, but I do have that luxury and I believe that I have an obligation to be there for Alexander.
For a long time now, I have wanted to go into business for myself. Firstly, I don't like working for other people. I have a problem with authority. I really have difficulty reigning in my thoughts when I have a boss who I do not fully respect. That wasn't a problem at Irrational because the people there are simply awesome. Secondly, I want to be financially independent, and I can't achieve that by working for someone else.
For the longest time I despised money and those who sought to acquire it, seeing them as soul-less parasites. Yeah, I admit it was an extreme viewpoint, and probably a naive/immature one. It is only recently that I have begun to see financial independence as something other than accumulating lots of money. Financial independence does not necessarily mean being wealthy, but having enough money to live your life as you want without strong dependence on an employer, government, or some other entity. It is about freedom and independence. In a simplistic way, it sounds like living a cushy life, being able to do what you like and not having to answer to anyone. But it was only recently that I began to understand the power of having freedom and independence.
My wife has a terrible boss. He's an incompetent asshole who blames everyone else for his failings. My wife is really good at what she does. But she's terrified of getting off-side with this guy because she fears for her job. She's the major bread-winner in our household and it would be a big problem for us if she lost her job. It's no surprise that this causes her stress. But if we were financially independent it's a different situation; The job is no longer essential but something she would do for the pleasure she gets from it. Stress would be reduced and the fear of a job transition would be less. She wouldn't have to endure working for this asshole if it detracted too much from the experience. Now that's freedom.
Ok, I've probably ranted enough about that.
The point is that now I want to go into business for myself. For a long time, I've thought that it would be great to become an independent developer. But becoming an independent developer is not a good way of becoming financially independent [smile]. So I'm not set on that plan but I also haven't entirely discarded it because there are areas of game development that are untapped and appealing to me. Maybe they are even profitable. In particular, I am interested in games for children and educational games (Ok, I'm also interested in 'art-house' games but that is definitely unprofitable). And I am so bored of most of the currently available games. It's really sad, there are talented developers out there working on some shitty games. I find it depressing to go into GameStop. There is seldom anything new or interesting. There is no innovation. It is the same tired genres over and over again. But I can't blame the publishers -- if the consumer wants to keep buying Madden each year, why would you not make it?
Ok, started ranting again, didn't I? I think I'll kill this long-winded post here.
Had a baby called Alexander. That was cool. Quit my job. Starting pursuit of financial independence. Might take a crack at making games for kiddies!