Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day Job Blues

I hate my day job.

No, that's crazy, I like my day job. Right? I have a lot of freedom, the pay is good, I'm blessed to be working in a creative field, and my colleagues are wonderful people. Plus I'm lucky to have any job in this economy. Only an entitled brat would complain.

But seriously, I hate my day job. I can sit in a chair for 12 hours working on my game and walk away feeling refreshed and full of joy, but put me in the same chair for the same amount of time working my day job and I walk away feeling like I've been sucking face with a Dementor.

Okay maybe 'hate' is too strong a word. An indie developer's day job is like a really tall friend who sits in front of you at a movie - you love the guy but goddamn it, move your fucking head! Except he's paying your half of the rent this month so there's no way you can say that out loud. And you need him to pay for gas on the way home, so you can't even politely leave the theater. Instead you stew in anger while his fat rich head ruins the movie. You hate yourself for needing his money and for not having the dignity to demand a little courtesy. You hate him for existing. You hate the whole world and everything in it. Did I say hate was too strong a word? Now it doesn't feel strong enough.


(Note: I try to avoid pointless rants around here but I couldn't help myself today. Apologies all around.)


  1. I have a super awesome day job (at a game studio) and I still feel like that sometimes. I work on making games 12 hours a day, come home and work on making games some more. It's burning me out to the whole idea of making games honestly... did I just say that? I'm gonna pretend like I didn't, otherwise might as well buy a one way ticket to hell because I can't imagine doing anything else.

    I'm an introvert in desperate need for social acceptance, I think I make games to get the world to acknowledge my existence and give me money. I get the money part from my day job, but I feel like I'll never truly feel accepted and satisfied, because I use games as an escape and as an excuse to not face my own personal faults and incompetences.

    Now if I can only make a game out of that...

    1. >Now if I can only make a game out of that...

      You know what they say, all good games come from PAIN. (And if they don't say that, they should.)

      Your feelings about working at a game studio kind of reaffirm my fear that it's not the profession but the setting and expectations that grind me down. I kinda-sorta toyed with the idea of jumping ship and joining a game studio last year, thinking I could escape the grind. A lot of my skills carry over, etc. But in the end I think the grind will follow me wherever I'm told what to do.

      And your feeling that making games lets you connect with people really hits home - I think that's part of why VFX doesn't quite satisfy me, my work is way too diluted by the time it hits people's eyes. But the idea of someone living through an experience I 100% created is really powerful.