Now That We're All Remote
When the idea for this game studio was first conceived, the idea of working remotely seemed an exotic proposition. The intent was to remove the geographical barriers, and allow contributors to retain their way of life, minimizing the disruption to their family and friends.
These days, working from home has become almost ubiquitous with working in our industry, and most everyone I know has gotten into the groove of balancing the demands of work with the lack of physical separation from their household.
Personally, I see so many benefits to getting extra time with our dog and our children, but household responsibilities can also create a litany of distractions. One's productivity and focus while digging deep into narrative paths or terrain work or audio creation can be completely dismantled every time a child cries or the dog begs to be let out.
"Can't you just wait until I finish tuning this vehicle, dog? Would it kill you to align your pee breaks with a long video conversion or while I bake this level's lighting?"
There were a few months that I really thought getting a puppy was going to be a long-term detriment to developing a game and building this studio. But then we had a baby! And any qualms I had about balancing time between solving bugs and picking up poop completely evaporated, replaced with learning to function on only a few hours sleep.
Fatherhood opened my eyes to so many revelations about myself, love, and life. I'd never fathomed how much I could love another human being, or how much of myself and my own wants I would so gladly sacrifice for another human's needs.
My wife, who had not only carried our child but also gathered everything we would need to care for him, again led the charge, expertly guiding my journey into diaper-changing, swaddling, and preparing bottles. After long days of tag-teaming constant child care, I would sometimes stay up late as others slept so I could bask in the productive hours of a quiet house.
It's no surprise that this habit would quickly prove to be unsustainable.
The onset of the pandemic only one month before our child's birth would have many repercussions, not the least of which was a near total lack of outside child care. Neither my wife nor I had much issue with that given how much we enjoyed our time with baby Max, but this meant we were both burning the candle at both ends to tend to family, continue working, and let's not forget about that needy dog...
Do we regret it? Of course not. It's been an unforgettable whirlwind full of joy and wonder. Taking inspiration from watching my son marvel at the world around him, I even decided to pivot development to "Algernon," a story I'd been wanting to tell since my first early concept explorations.
Algernon is a story about the importance of connections, family, and taking care of one's self. A story about self-discovery as guided by empathy and hope. It's a game about an unlikely companion with an impossible link to the past. And it's a project that I'll be proud to share with my son someday.
Having seen much of the early prototyping, the world of Algernon seems to have captured the imagination of my entire family, and their support has helped it evolve in all the right ways. If you'd like to know more about the project or feel compelled to contribute, I'd love to hear from you.