Releasing this game was probably one of the scariest things I have ever done. And this is coming from a person who is anxious about pretty much everything always.
What really pushed me to release it though, was being asked to exhibit it at Contours last year. Which was truly amazing and one of the highlights of my life seeing it there. And on a huge screen, you could fit like 20 cats on it. Even talking about it there at one of their In Conversation evenings. So that helped me overcome a lot of the doubt about actually putting it out there, and I released officially the day it exhibited.
It’s a scary thing releasing a game, and releasing a game that is so personal, you want it to be perfect. You wonder what people will think of it, and then by extension you. It’s really hard to seperate the two. But nothing is perfect, and even a game about your life, the reception of that isn’t necessarily a reflection of yourself.
I was afraid of what people would think of the thoughts that I have on a daily basis. But that is also why I made it. Because there is so much stigma, because a lot of people just don’t understand what it’s like. I should not have to be afraid of this. Maybe one day no one will be.
Even after you tell yourself all this, it’s still just, really hard.
This is where I want to mention, the other big help in me finishing and releasing this game, and that was the support from my partners and friends. Snow and Hanc especially cause almost daily up to the actual release I’d be messaging them like, how can I do this, this is like the scariest thing I have ever done. They’d always remind me how important it was, and how good the game was. They are always there and ready to hear about a problem I’m having with it or some weird new game idea. And I can’t thank them and all my friends enough for their ongoing support.
Now, I wanna get real here, not that I haven’t been already. It is really easy to fall into thinking that the game, or you, didn’t do well enough. Putting it up for awards, watching sales, it is so easy to take any rejection to heart. And I did find myself having moments where I was like, I should have done better, maybe if I’d done this, maybe it just isn’t good enough. Maybe I’m not good enough.
And for a bit I did totally fall into a bit of pit there. But, there is something I’ve seen Morgan Jaffit talk about a fair bit. And that is, defining what success means for you. It’s easy to be disappointed that my game didn’t sell enormously. But I never designed it for that.
Why did I make it?
I wanted to make a game that shows people what it is like living with a mental illness, living with bipolar. And, I did that. I’ve had people tell me how much they can relate to my game. I’ve had people thank me because they now have a better idea of what some of their friends go through.
When I started this game, I said, that if this helps even just one person, it would be worth it. And it has, and then some. So, for me, this game was entirely a success and I am unbelievably proud of it and myself.