10 years ago to this day, I founded Blendo Games, a small independent games studio. 10 years and still going! What the heck!
If we want to dive further into time:
- Prior to starting Blendo Games, I worked at a large game studio for 5 years.
- And prior to that, modding and level design was my hobby for 12 years.
So I guess I’ve now spent about 27 years in Games World. That seems like a long time? And yet, I still feel like how I did since first starting hobbyist mod work: excited to make the thing, constantly being baffled by the thing, and putting things together one microscopic step at a time.
Some thoughts on Blendo Games’ 10 years:
My parents are from China and immigrated to America. I was born and raised here in the states. I have two names, I (kinda-sorta) speak two languages, and I bear two cultures.
Some years ago I gave a talk at a conference. At the meet & greet afterward, an Asian person mentioned how encouraging it was to see someone of Asian descent up on stage.
Honestly, the remark caught me off-guard – I felt a burst of pride and a better understanding of where and how I fit in the world. I am a proud Chinese American. For you out there who wants to make video games: I’m doing it now, and I hope you do too.
I think when some people hear “independent” they see someone of dizzying talent, skilled in disparate fields, a self-contained dynamo. Maybe they can’t do everything, but their wizardry lets them achieve almost anything, allowing them to operate siloed off from the world. Right?
I dunno, I used to think that. In hindsight, I feel it was very poisonous thinking.
We all need help at some point, whether it’s with our lives, our projects, or anything else. Independence and resiliance isn’t about doing everything yourself, it’s about nurturing a support network wide enough to help us when we need it.
Pulling Back the Curtain
I’ve been chronicling development of my current project Skin Deep via a regular development stream. And let me tell you: it feels so good to make it crystal clear there are good days where I get a bazillion things done, and then there are days where absolutely everything goes wrong and bursts into flames.
I feel there is sometimes pressure to always put on a good face, or to reassure people everything’s perfectly fine. I sometimes fall prey to this, and I hate it.
Things always can and always will go wrong. There will always be things that are simply out of our control. And I feel the more honest we are with that, the more healthy we can be about personal expectations and creative burnout.
I was a different person 10 years ago. And 10 years from now, I’ll again become a different person. Who knows what to expect!
Wherever the cards may fall, I’m glad to be here, I’m glad you’re here, and I appreciate you taking the time to play the things I help make. I wouldn’t be where I am without the love and help from friends, family, and supporters.
Thank you all. Take care.