know your limitations
Lately I have been trying to be more social with the local dev scene around Chicago. There are some on going social events that are open to everyone and I figure that putting myself out there now might lead to something down the line. It’s been both good and bad, but that’s a separate issue.
A couple of weeks ago I ran into some indie devs at an unrelated event. Conversations went, as they sometimes do, into histories, experiences and what you’re working on. At the end of the night, I was called the trifecta. Wait, what? A designer, artist and programmer. That doesn’t sit right with me at all.
Don’t get me wrong, what is going on in indie development is awesome. That is, without a doubt, where the innovation is coming from. If film is any indication, that’s where it will continue to be. I commend people who flourish in that space. That just isn’t who I am. The very idea of taking something I’ve sweated over to a convention to spend the entire time selling people on it and me personally gives me a slight panic attack. Kickstarter, Twitter, customers, forums, marketing, journalists, et all. No. No no no no no no. I’m abrasive, crass and a bit snarky as a default. Some go so far as “intimidating.” I can play nice, but the longer I am around people the more the snark will come out. I am not someone who would be good in the spotlight.
I want to code. On a team. Preferably I would like to just geek out on AI. The majority of my net time at work is spent reading about AI or listening to a talk. Getting the most out of my GDC vault pass. Supposedly I have a happy nerd dance when I talk about it. A good friend of mine is about to start a PhD in Philosophy focusing on AI and the effects of technology. We have some great conversations. I’m writing my own AI system for fun. Because I can.
I am an artist, just not that kind.
I went to art school, yes. Technically, I went to film school. The vast majority of my friends are artists. My ex husband is a musician. I get on very well with creative people because it fits my personality well. I am really good at explaining code to them. I think that my background is a bonus, just perhaps not in the way some might think.
I can’t draw myself out of a box. My art friends laugh at my inability to even make stick figures without wonky proportions. I am horrible at taking nothing and making what is in my head. What I’m really good at is seeing something interesting and manipulating it to my will. I good at taking what I see and dinking around with light and silver to produce something pretty. Or interesting. Really great at capturing moments. And expressions. Or just representing how I view the world. I’m good with telling a story with images. I was pretty great at recreating nature with math and particles. I will never be a game artist and I’m cool with that.
I am not a designer
I’m making a game. You know what is in my head? Mechanics. That’s it. I don’t even know if it’s actually going to be a real game. I have some ideas on how to represent some things heavily using AI. It’s for my portfolio. Maybe a few people will play it if they can find it. Maybe I’ll come up with a story. Maybe someone else will. I don’t know. I just have a few ideas that I think are really interesting that I want to test out. I don’t want to design a game. The bug to do so doesn’t seem to exist within me.
I’m a software engineer.
I am really good at math and visualizing the abstract. I had a meeting with my professor the other day and he joked about how usually people get stuck on the math with collisions, but I just dug in deeper. I love to get lost in code. I love the feeling of slowly building up my systems.
Last weekend I met a designer working on a game that I really want to code for. I might also/instead be joining a team of lady devs as just the coder. That’s what makes me excited.