I rarely use my personal sites blog to update you guys on what's going on (for that it's best to follow me on TWITTER), but thought it's about time that I posted something new.
So... I've thought a lot about this and it's not something I'm entirely comfortable with, but I feel as though I owe people a bit of insight into who I am, as not so much a thank you but out of curtesy to all my amazing fans that have followed me over the past couple of years. I don't want to share everything, but hopefully it gives people an understanding of who Jordan Sayer is.
I'll plaster some art throughout the post to keep it content heavy - a favour to all those with slower internet!
I started the gamedev journey a couple of years back after leaving a programming job, just to say I tried something different. My incredible partner continued with her job to support some of my stupid game ideas in the beginning and I started working towards this dream of being an indie dev. I've always been super passionate about all things video games so naturally thought this was something I could be ok at.
Creatively I've always drawn things (terribly) and have been a musician (guitarist, vocalist) for many years when I was younger. I had audio engineering experience, and with my programming knowledge I had most of the skills it took to piece together a game. Perfect!
What I didn't account for is how hard would actually be (as a lot of fellow indies would agree)!
I trudged through creating some terrible pixel art and slapping very few little games together before reality quickly set in that there was no way, financially, we could afford to live like this (haha...). After maybe six months or so, I realised the gamedev wasn't going to make me a Flappy Bird millionaire and I went back to work. Once I was back at work, I went quiet. The development was just too hard to keep up with a fulltime job (and still is), and what was slowly growing came to a bit of a halt.
Then late 2016 something amazing happened.
I BECAME A FATHER!
What a storm of emotions! I had this dream of developing games but this amazing child to care for now, and really, there was just no way I could do both and work to support a family in those early months (trust me, it's a BIG lifestyle adjustment - fellow dads are nodding in agreement).
I say I'm a dad but that's as much as I want to share about my family. I'd like to keep my creative work and family life very separate although I see a lot of people be very open about theirs. This is a personal choice, not something I think everybody should do in the online space.
So I sacrificed the game-related stuff to focus on family, however continued churning out a bit of pixel art every now and then. I did some commission work to pay the bills on top of my 9 to 5, and started a small pixel merchandise business (which was a little unsuccessful - who would've thought pixel art was too niche for the local market!? haha).
The desire to be an indie dev has never left though, and becoming a father instilled an incredible amount of motivation in me - so back to it I went. As you've seen over the last few months, I've churned out a couple more experimental, unfinished games and a lot more art. It was going great again but I just got burnt out.
And that's sort of where I'm at. This desire to create, but the reality of financial stability and a solid work life balance is really difficult as of late. I have some plans to change careers and work towards something greater, but it's hard to know whether this is in game development or something maybe a little more practical here in New Zealand. I'd love the opportunity to work in this industry, and will take any that arise, but these opportunities are few and far between here.
I'm trying to figure it all out... I wanted to share this because I felt like it'd be an explanation for the inconsistent content I put out (sometimes there's a lot, other times it's a little quiet). We're just wrapping our heads around all of this family stuff and our new life - we're in the early days still!
I'll keep pursuing the dream in one way or another (who knows, maybe I'll find the time I need to go full speed again) and invite everyone to continue following my journey. You have ALL been incredibly supportive and the indie community is full of amazing talent and great people willing to help each other. Super thankful to everybody and proud to be a part of this community.
So THANK YOU! Have a great day, and I look forward to sharing more!