I *WANT* to be a game developer

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I *WANT* to be a game developer

Post by FireRat » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:11 am

Note: This is a very personal post, if you simply don't like these, the last I need is a "Why is it a thread" complaint. If someone from staff decides it's best to delete/lock it, I promise to not post any of this again.


Hello. My name is Alberto Muñoz, formerly known as Hcktrox, I'm 22 years old, and my ultimate goal in life is to release at least 1 game, hopefully the (almost) exact way I'd like it to be, or at least approximate.

Some people says I tend to write these big-ass messages/posts to cover my ass when there's trouble... And yes, I indeed tend to lie A LOT as well, but, what's the point if by screwing myself so much there will be no one to believe my actual truths? And the truth is, I really want to do good work, for years I've tried to move mountains to get stuff to happen, but no mind-hack prevents me from going downhill anymore.
I'm so tired, I had to present certain homework for institute today, I only have 3/4 of it ready, and although I could rush to get it on time, I really have ZERO energy left("rite, yet you spend the time to write all this!"), will explain why later. I will complete it throghout the day, as I imagine some very detailed "force majeure problem" mockup in my mind, assume it's a "real memory", all so my creative side automagically holds my body and literal language correctly tomorrow when giving my excuses to teacher (mind-hack), taking approach that she's very patient. Then MAYBE top that by sending a corrupt compressed file today, so I can claim "I "tried" my best to be responsible", and have this lie some more believable.

I try to give my best on MD and SCD work. Although I don't know a thing about sound hardware nor about music & sound area in itself yet, I have some skill on scriptwriting, visual sequencing/effects, ASM programming in general. I'm not that good at pixel art just yet, but at the institute they say I do a good job on color usage, fitting an image's composition, or hiding subliminal messages.

I have my own load of ambitious goals. I am willing to do everything necessary just to complete 1 full homebrew game for MD or SCD, make enough content for it to last around 1 hour under "arcade" style (if speedran), sell physical versions of my own, and rerelease ROM+Source Code for free on internet time later, maybe 1 year, 6 months. I'm currently trying a new... "workflow", and hopefully, if my mood allows, get an effect-loaded boss rush Sonic "hack" (or not hack? :P) ready by March 2019, to experiment and "test" the reception. For now, although I can program many things and draw half-acceptable art for the console, I have no idea about handling anything else: What do people EXACTLY expect from an original package (in detail), Who/how should I send my ROMs to have them burned into cartridges (though I'm considering CDs, it has to be cheaper and easier to produce, right?, but, SCDs aren't as much accessable, dang), and so on.
To be honest, I'm more a visual thinker than a logician, I wish I was able to stand strong to myself and had spent my early years practicing drawing instead; all this is the byproduct of a repressed dream of working in cartoons, which I've "replaced" with computer programming since early childhood because shaming from other people, no less. Thought being a "good boy" and killing the "malfunctioning" creative side would be a good idea to feel less bad with myself, but holy shit that was incredibly wrong.

My trip has been full of issues. From one part I suck at distributing my work time properly (I feel burnt-out nearly all the time and game dev gets in the way of my studies and vice-versa), for other, I don't feel any more mature than a prepubescent, and I felt the need to hide it on the latest years to avoid trouble. I have a lot of "friends" who realized about it, and they only want I do them programming "favors" for nothing in return. I can only count friends with the fingers of a single hand, I have been tricked for years wasting my damn time with their "emotional catches" and such. They were incredibly manipulative; and I didn't see any of it until I quit being a "good boy", got deeper into developing manipulation (or as I like to name "mind-hacking") tactics and such (after all, most from the media is meant to "play" with their public's feelings anyway)
I mean, I wish I didn't had to do any of this shit, but looks like in today's world nobody likes someone who talk without "filtering" his say, you know? I thought trying to be a "good boy" for so many years would be enough and worth something, and all I got was all sorts of abuse from school, closer family, closer friends, a site's famous staff member... And turns out that in today's world "success" is only achievable under social approval.. ? Hate that shit, I wouldn't even care about being "social", I feel so much like doing it against my will. The only good thing about it is that I find myself doing more things than I'd previously would even dared to, which actually improves my mental health a lot.


I begun developing on MD through the Sonic Hacking sites. I quickly got acussed of stealing code from Sonic Megamix, which has hurt my reputation for very long. This has brought a lot of issues, such as people losing trust on my work when I ported Sonic 1 to SCD, or some staff member disasembling other ROMs of mine trying to find stolen code and editing my posts to get me banned from forums ASAP.

In the meantime, I get an "Art block" from my main project, and help friends develop theirs; at least my name would appear in the credits, and it would be a fun thing to do as well. My friend Abyssal Leopard (one of the only "real" ones) who taught me ASM was working on something new and interesting, and in 2015 we released the final version of our "Mobius Evolution", not without a lot of arguments between Abyssal and "MainArtist"; Abyssal actually had the best intentions, we were meant to present the final version during the Hacking Contest from that year, but the air got so tense that we lost a lot of time and mood towards the end, and presented a ROM that looked worse than Dragon Ball Super Ep 5. Poor drawings, no ending, unforgivable "oopsie" on my title screen, bugs galore, and worse, didn't even work on real hardware. Finally, Abyssal and I were the only ones rushing the final version for, hopefully, the end of the "Contest Week", and even after Rev00, Abyssal felt so uneasy he sent over 20 revs throghout the night while the forum had low activity, hoping nobody seen those. Afterwards, Abyssal begins a new secret game, to be done "properly", then time later gives all authorship "rights" and materials to me, and quits to never be seen on internet again. And so did I time later, "MainArtist" and other friends were being real shitty, I just didn't want more war, if I could keep it up by designing it, coding it and doing crappy drawings myself, then so be it.

I decide to dodge my ban and join the community under this new alias, hoping to start from scratch again "properly". I have thoroughly studied its members "mentality", and my first thread was directly meant to cause a studiable reply from the staff member who edited my posts, no less. By doing this, I get a much better vibe in return than before, which is actually sad. I spent all that year trying to get the good look from the community by posting lies and VDP effects, until by December I formed a new "team" with new friends (I'd try to teach them whatever I knew, in exchange of their help in my project). I felt it was fair to tell them who I really was beforehand, and one of them decides to tell the staff about it, right on the same day I make the first big announcement on the forums. Staff lets me in with the condition to not cause any drama (maybe because the prior issues), and keep behaving the same way as I do now.
I was the only programmer on it and already burnt-out for other awkward things going on, an old experienced "friend" whom I didn't talk to much, now asks me to join, and as we work, she keeps on saying my ASM lacks logic, it's lazy, that things should instead be done in X and Y way, ect, making team leading overall much more difficult. I had a hard time determining whether she really meant it for my own good or discouragement, because, working with such a high exigence bar would really fry my brain in the middle of development if not earlier, I wanted my space to "improvise" some things out too, and most importantly, damn, can you make a game with no feeling? can you make a game if you don't like your work? Really, I find reading documents on development and such is okay, but I don't think everything is "pure logic" here, I mean, overall, a game is also an artistic work, no? Granted, by that time we were writing core libraries and arranging game plan just yet, but to date I haven't any game with such "perfect" library coding yet either, I think. As you can imagine, I was so burned that I just threw the project through the window.
Then you know my story with HardLine Team. Pfffft.

I don't want to be the next Fonzie. I'm so self-disappointed that I feel like giving up the MD scene. I'm just tired of throwing my life to the trash can.

Very interested
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Re: I *WANT* to be a game developer

Post by BigEvilCorporation » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:19 pm

This sounds like you're going through burnout, and it's a very dangerous thing. Take some time out, concentrate on your studies, let your head clear for a bit, and then make a new plan.

When you come back, take things in bite-sized chunks. Work on one thing at a time, in isolation, until it's done, before moving onto the next. You won't be making entire games in a few months, but it's a far healthier way to approach it than to jump into a team and go hell-for-leather on a big project. It sounds like you're young(er than most of us here), you have all the time in the world to perfect your skill and work your way up to something bigger. Stop rushing it or you'll hit failure all too often and get discouraged.

I've been through this, and I know many others, too. It's an awful situation rife with complications, lack of sleep, "imposter syndrome", and other bad vibes.

We're here to help. When you get to the stage where you need to think about distribution, cart burning, etc, just give us a shout. But do one thing at a time, eh?
A blog of my Megadrive programming adventures: http://www.bigevilcorporation.co.uk

Cristiano Sword
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Re: I *WANT* to be a game developer

Post by Cristiano Sword » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:52 pm

This is very common in the indie gaming market in general. I often often feel the "imposter syndrome" :(
I always think I do not know enough. But then I see that I have walked a little on my journey and I feel better. :)
The Mega Drive Will Never Die In Our Hearts.

Project Leyria RPG for Sega Mega Drive / Genesis
https://gendev.spritesmind.net/forum/vi ... php?t=2728

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