John Donne once said, “No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main..” taking this idea further no matter how much a person wants to control and go this life alone – we really can’t. This quote came from a series of devotions and since I have seen countless articles basically affirming this personal realization. Human beings are pack animals and we need each other. The more people you welcome into your life, the more chaotic it can seem. This is how it is supposed to be in our personal life – which is why personal care is so important. That is another topic for another post though.
Taking this idea to the development of my business – last night when I was talking to my Marketing Director (which is still strange for me to type out) we were talking about bringing on a Social Media Coordinator. I will be hopefully be speaking to that person today. I wanted to know what were the basic expectations so I can clearly paint a picture of expectations. In the midst of the conversation, I asked my Marketing Director if I could still post on my social media feeds.
“Sure, it’s your brand.”
It’s YOUR brand – mine – but is that the point of all this? I was thinking about it last night, and I have to tell you… I don’t think it is supposed to be the point. I think having the ability to make the final call is important, but when you create and build the main desire, in my opinion, is to make the world a better place. If we want to make the world a better place then we must allow the world to take part in what we are making.
I want to look at Escape The Fest! (EtF!) as a good example here. EtF! as you may know, is the first game that I will share with the world. I have had many games just sit in the back because I didn’t think they were ready. When I originally came up with EtF! I was about 25 years old and I wanted to find a way to go to music festivals for free. I had this idea to make a game that could potentially have expansions based on real festivals. The event companies would fly me around the world to attend their festivals and tell stories about their brand. During a night of hanging out with friends we were all talking about funny experiences we have had at music festivals and suddenly I realized I had a game.
The first concept of the game was very different from where we are today. There were two men that in my early stages heard my ideas and very frankly told me that I would need to change a lot of content choices if I wanted a marketable game. This was a hard pill for me to swallow. I wanted to tell stories and to be as honest about them as I could. The problem, as was told to me, was that I desire to build a company. I desire to forge my path and make my living. This required me to have larger market appeal. I made hard choices but moved on. The game became better in my opinion and everyone was really excited about it.
The game was finished and I was excited to share it with the world when I was selected for the Indie Game Showcase at Emerald City Comicon. Here I got the chance to play the game with publishers and designers and got amazing feedback and more notes on how to make the game more available to a wider audience. Even changing one letter with an emoji was told to me as a way to stop any potential complaints regarding the game. Again, I was taken aback – this game was already censored! (You may recall my feelings about ‘M’ Rated games and censorship) I made the choice to change it up even more with all the notes. During the show, I turned my showcase into a mini playtest to see what worked. After ECCC I was sitting at home with a game I thought was finished, but realized it wasn’t.
Thankfully the changes that were happening weren’t huge, and with the new connects I made at ECCC, I had amazing people that helped me during this process. I am playing EtF! now and have even more fun! This is a game that I am excited to get out to the world, more than ever.
“Of course, it is YOUR game!” you may say. It isn’t my game anymore. It is OUR game. This game would never have gotten to the place it has without other people. It is OUR brand. Foolish Panda Games would not have gotten to where it is without the great people that have touched it at various levels. It is hard to give up that control, but I am slowly learning that it is more fun, and in the end I want everyone to have fun. Life is too short not to.