I’ve recently said to myself”I wanna make a game”, a phrase I’ve uttered many, many times before. It’s the reason I learned how to program in the first place. My original goal was to make games for a living. So why am I working at a company that doesn’t make anything close to video games instead of a company that only makes video games? At some point, I realized that working for most video games companies would result me getting paid a lot less for working a lot more. After working 50-60 hour weeks in grad school, I now value my free time highly. I’m not going to work for a company that expects me to work more than 40 hours a week for a salaried position. If I was paid hourly, then I might consider it, but that is rarely the case in my line of work.
So I don’t work for a game company, and I’ve currently no intention (or the means) to start my own. That doesn’t mean I can’t make games in my free time. I’ve done it before, although it often ends in failure. So why am I not doing that now? A couple of reasons: making games requires so much effort. Even making something simple like pong can exhausting. Which brings me to my second reason: I’m already program for 40 hours a week. That makes it hard to come home, sit down in front of a computer, and spend even more time programming when I have other hobbies I could be spending time on. The games I’ve worked on are (usually) more interesting than what I’m working on at work, so once I “hit my stride”, it becomes really easy to come home and work on a game (until you hit a wall). The hard part is the considerable effort I need to put in before I hit my stride. So basically, I wanna make a game, but I don’t really feel like it.