Humans! It is once again time for a monthly Indie Lisa Status update! My April post saw me having all sorts of adventures, and learning a lesson about my new perception of work life balance.
So as for May, did I learn anything? Let’s find out! May adventures included:
1. This month saw me diving in and really focusing on Imaginal, my lightning bug game, which I just submitted to Indiecade this weekend! The development of this game has also been subject of a number of dev streams this month. After this submission milestone, I’m taking a breath before tackling what needs to be done to it before I can release it.
2. I appeared on a couple of fantastic podcasts – as a returning guest on Spawn On Me, and as a new guest on BigSushi.fm. Both of these shows are wonderful and you should certainly check them out. We talk across a range of very different topics on each!
3. Though still mostly on deck, I did revisit Cat Trick long enough to test it out on a touch device. We figured out a nice relative-position control scheme that feels really good on touch, so I believe Cat Trick will be my next big indie project to tackle “for reals” once Imaginal is wrapped up.
4. I traveled to Pittsburgh, PA to visit Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center. I had an excellent time meeting up with student teams and discussing their projects. Some of this year’s projects were fantastic, and it was great to be able to sit down and give feedback and talk about design problems with the teams. I was able to help out some teams and in turn was quite inspired by some of the work being done there. I can’t wait to see what some of next year’s projects will yield!
5. Also while in Pittsburgh, I visited Schell Games and met with a number of different project teams there. They are doing such cool and interesting stuff! Everything from VR Escape Rooms to educational toys to scrappy, niche indie games. It was exciting to be able to sit down with the teams and check them out. Also while visiting, I had an amazing class stream of Atari 2600 Games with Jesse Schell. If you haven’t watched these yet I really recommend you check out the whole series, Jesse has such fantastic stories about the history of the platform!
7. I traveled to Oxnard, CA to assist in the wrangling of and participate in Schoolhouse Jam, an on-site game jam about games to assist classroom learning where teachers were part of the jam teams. It was pretty incredible, and I wrote at length about the experience.
8. I continue to stream a bunch and continue to really need to figure out a banner for my youtube page.
9. I continue to do a lot of level design type stuff on Hyper Light Drifter.
So did I learn anything? May was still pretty packed full of adventure, but I’m taking steps to manage the work-life balance by incorporating at least one pure “no work” day a week. This means no working on games, no streaming, no giving feedback on other people’s games, no overly analytical playing of games, nothing. Just pure rest (or as much as I can manage). I think it’s been a good exercise for me, and so far I’ve filled it up with watching esports, playing board games with friends, reading books, drawing animal sketches, and resting as best I can.
This month brings a new but related insight – I am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful friends who unconditionally take care of me. My fellow indies check in on me and hold me accountable to not overworking. My mentors continue to be fonts of wisdom and support (and also check in on me and hold me accountable to not overworking). My AAA friends still check in with me and cheer me on. I don’t have to turn far to get feedback and advice on the games I’m making, or a special guest for a stream. I feel very grateful to have loved ones all over the world, conveniently placed across all timezones so that if I wake up in the middle of the night with some anxious thought about my new adventurous life, there is always someone there to reach out to who will listen to me and give me words of wisdom. I probably couldn’t do any of this without you. <3
JUNE APPROACHETH! What adventures will the upcoming month have in store? Well I will tell you this, before I jump onto Cat Trick, I HAVE to get this website into shape! It needs an overhaul to match up with my new projects. E3 is also around the corner, and I’m getting myself involved in ancillary events.
As always, if you would like in on the more frequent updates, or want to help me continue my dev streaming initiatives, please consider supporting me on Patreon!
Weekly updates from March and April are now public!