This is from a series of posts I wrote about Fantastic Contraption when I originally released it. They were originally published on our travelogue but I have back dated them and moved them over here where they fit in more.
So I have been ruminating on this really weird question. Why am I writing/hosting/keeping up this game?
It’s a weird question because I totally love it. I loved writing it (mostly) and I love that people play it. And I’ve gotten all these great compliments which I love. Some favorite quotes: “I play a lot of online games and this is the best one I have ever played” (in this case online means flash), and “this might be the perfect game”. These aren’t even things people have said to me. They are reviews and comments on random blogs.
I love everything about it. But damn it it’s exhausting. Sarah accused me of acting bi-polar today because I’ll be all up and happy and then alternately down and doomfull. It’s not the work. The only real work I’ve done has been hanging out on the forums and doing a few bug fixes. It’s the just the mental energy of having this amazing thing in the world that people seem to love.
It’s like I have a duty to think about it constantly. Like I am morally obligated to make it more and more popular. Like it is wrong to just sit on my hands and see what happens. I should be doing user studies and improving the hits to player conversion. I should be pimping it on flash sites and making deals with portals. I should write embedable solutions to leverage the power of social networking sites. gah, so much to do. The list is literally endless.
Every time I manage to calm down for a minute something awesome happens. Like people have started buying the game. Not in droves but enough that we’ll have some scratch to spread around to the various people who made this possible. And every time I get a little email pop-up saying someone else has bought it it’s like a tiny injection of heroin.
I mean I’m a professional programmer so the idea of being paid to write code is not novel. But being so close to the spigot is kind of like staring into the sun. That little pop-up just meant some stranger, that I have never met, decided something I made was worth actual money.
It’s an experience I’ve never had before and I’m just not sure how to handle it. It’s like I can feel the game changing my future but I can’t tell in what way it’s changing. Will I end up in flash development? Corporate website flash? Game flash? Will it change nothing? I do know I like it. I guess I’ll just stay strapped to the roller-coaster and see where it’s going.