Figuring it out


Am I getting to that point where you are supposed to find a new meaning in life? What I mean is, when you are young you have all these dreams. I'm gonna be a fighter pilot, an astronant, President of the United States. Then you get older and you have other dreams. I'm gonna start a company, I'm gonna be a actor, I'm gonna travel the world. Then it seems like at some point, if you don't accomplish those goals, you figure out you are never going to and you just give up. Is that what most people do? What goes through their heads when that happens? When do you decide to give up or change or whatever.

There's a part of me that's sick of making games. I used to love it. There are still things I love about it. I wanted to have my own development company and maybe still do. But there's another part of me that's starting to feel worn down and broken. Like, yea, but I'm tired of working so hard and making someone else rich. I'm tried of having my life be about stuff that turns off 99.9% of the world. Bring up any topic I'm *fluent* in about my career and watch people role their eyes, their expressions blank. Sometimes they make snide comments about "they're talking programmer talk". I hate it and it gets to me. I makes me wonder if I should have just worked at 7/11. At least people could relate.

On the other hand, I have a hard time thinking that from this point on, my job will just be this waste of time that I do from 10am to 7 or 8pm everyday and then I leave it at work and get back to my life and wait for one of my 28 remaining yearly vacations. That I'll just do it, accept that I get $XXXX dollars a month and that basically the routine will never change until I retire. I feel caught in this middle ground where the odds of succeeding are so remote I don't feel like trying and yet just letting it go seems like almost unimaginably boring.

Someone suggested maybe I switch careers. There is some appeal to that except I have no idea what to switch to. I have no experience anywhere else. Sure I could develop web apps or business apps no problem. Some of the web apps might be fun. I expect the business ones would not. A medical app might be cool. About 12 years ago someone wanted me to write catscan modeling software. Developing them would not be a problem. Getting the job would since I can't claim experience in any of those. But, I think, switching careers really means not switching from programming games to programming something else. It means to stop programming. Teach English, become a sales person, a truck driver, a photographer, a journalist, a producer, something else.

Some of those appeal to me. They all seem more appoachable by the average person meaning that if I talk about my job to some else they'll get it. Some of them else seem like they'd have more people contact then programmers have and especially more female contact. Something of which there is nearly zero in the game industry. Example, last company I was at was 15 men, 1 woman when I started. When I left it was 27 men, 3 women.

On the other hand they seem impossible. I don't want to make 1/3h of what I usually make. Maybe I need to get over that and be happy with less. I don't want to start over and go from somebody near the top of their field to someone at the bottom. I think of all those mentioned above, the one that appeals to me the most is journalist. But, from what I can tell, that's a nearly impossible job. More so than getting into the games industry. Why? Well, espeically now, everybody is doing it. Lots of people have their own webpage and are writing daily. The need to pay of journalist is quickly going down. Most of the people I know that are journalists do it on the side as it pays nothing. They write an article, get a $300 for it. Go back to their real job. There's only a very few people that make a living at it.

I've thought about switching to 3D artist from game programmer. Maybe one could argue that if I wanted to be a 3D artist I would just do it meaning that since I don't do 3D art just for fun, like lots of 3D artists wannabes I know, that I'm really not suited for it which is kind of the same with programming. The good ones are the ones that do it because they want to, not because they have to.

I don't really know where I'm going with this except that I am really having a hard time just continuing to work as a game programmer with no change in site. No prospect of early retirement, fame and glory, what ever. Just people looking at you like your a freak for talking about 8 layers of realtime vertex shaders used to make the fur in a demo like this or a GeForce4 Ti allowing images like these in realtime.

Living at home
Warthog Jump: The Movie