Week Zero

Last week I decided to return to being a freelancer.
Or rather, to try and become an auteur. In dutch that makes it sound like I want to write books, but what it means is getting to make the games and the comics that I want to make. And in a sense that does involve writing, or narrative design as they call it, since that is something that I am very interested in.

I like stories and what they can do to/for people. Interactive stories make that experience even stronger for me. But I realize now that maybe that means that I don’t want to make what is traditionally considered a ‘videogame’. I like those just fine (my Steam library has 230 of ’em) but I don’t think I want to make something that has scores or in-app purchases etc. I want to tell stories. And games like Kentucky Route Zero, Papo & Yo and Gone Home prove this is as good a time as any to try.

So to track my progress I’ve decided to steal copy a blogging idea from colleague Niels ‘t Hooft, who has been doing weekly recaps of his independent adventures for 757 weeks. Woof.

Week zero has mostly been about slowing down to a pace where I can think at again. I was in an office for the last 1,5 years and had to travel quite a distance to get there, so everything was very… timeboxed. Things had to get done. I certainly had a great time there and learned a lot while doing some really cool stuff like work on the LFG game with the Blind Ferret guys, but it left little room to wander and contemplate. I noticed my well of story ideas evaporated. So I’ve been nurturing it back to health by spending time outside, catching up with friends and family and absorbing media. There are about 6 uncompleted games on my desktop and double that amount in my movies to watch folder, so finally working through that has been nice. I’m starting to feel some ideas well up again. And I also completely lost track of time, holy shit. I think it’s monday today, right?

Anyway, tune in again next week to follow me along on this adventure and see if I’ve lost my mind yet!

~Tim

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