It seems that depression is a very common ailment among creative people - though that could be my skewed perspective, since that’s just most of the people that I know. Even so, it feels like there are some strong links between the need to create and the powerful negative feedback loops that fuel depression. Feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness, devalued self worth - and it’s all stacked against you, because while the struggles of your peers are hidden invisibly behind the mighty accomplishments you love them for, your own work never quite lives up to your vision.
This is especially true and problematic for game developers, because in a very real sense, the work in question doesn’t even exist until it interacts with an audience. The mechanic is just a series of potential reactions, and the level is just a big empty space without a player to explore it.
I don’t know if this will help anyone else - I’m not an expert on depression, just a client. Maybe what holds you down is different than what weighs heavy on me, but just in case there’s any relief to be had, here are some of the ways I deal with it.
“why is playtesting so tedious and painful”
The VX Ace revised demo of Catharsis is finally finished! It’s available for download at http://rpgmaker.net/g/catharsis
The H-series of mechanical walkers were the first attempts to create machines that could heal, reducing the need for clerics. Its healing abilities are more potent when it is in danger.
In the old version of Catharsis, enemy bios were only viewable when you were fighting that enemy. In the upcoming newer version, they can be read in the Bestiary menu if you’ve scanned the enemy. While writing these entries, I wanted to include gameplay hints. Some enemies have some creepy backstory as well—I was a big fan of the strange enemy descriptions in the Shadow Hearts games.
Pixeling machines are so much fun. I’ve been churning out some of the last couple of enemy sprites I need for the game’s revised demo, which should be available soon! (There’s an event going on at rpgmaker.net whose deadline is the weekend of May 4)
These were two versions of the same enemy; the one on the right was finished first. The one on the left was an experiment with colors, but I think it turned out so much better!
I made a lot of progress with my game this month! I didn’t want to retype all of it here, so here’s a link. :o