Hello, this month has been a bit of an emotional roller-coaster. More than once I’ve just had to stop because I wanted to cry, but there have also been some unusually fun times. I guess you’d call it cathartic.
Also, side note, why has an old post of mine been getting views from a lot of random people this weekend? Not complaining, I just find it kinda weird that people are suddenly interested in a post from late 2014 (wow, this blog has been going for that long?).
Anyway, the main things this month:
- I’ve been getting myself setup as a freelance IT Sole-Trader, & thinking about how to make it viable has left me feeling a bit overwhelmed.
- I went on an impromptu road trip with some friends to Twizel overnight. It was nice to see central Canterbury & help a friend move some stuff back home.
- Been looking at the writing/lore aspect of my storytelling game prototype Sojourn.
If you’re wondering what a Sole-Trader is, it’s essentially a one person business. If you’re wondering what I’m offering here’s my draft business card:
Fortunately there isn’t much I need to legally do before I can begin work (I think I’ve got everything setup with my accountant now), but I’ve found myself having to wait regardless.
I do have a contract from my previous boss still being sorted. They called me back to the office to get myself setup & I’ll be returning tomorrow (which is good because I began to wonder if the contract wasn’t going to happen). Losing the internet to my flat for a few days, & going on a road trip in the midst of this, haven’t helped speed things up either.
I’ve been trying to use this time to form a business plan & do some research but I’m having trouble getting it finished, & I really don’t know if I’m doing things right. From what I can tell, I’m in a good starting position but I can see myself having trouble over the coming year:
- I’ve never had an interest in business & I don’t like the idea of becoming a ‘business man’. I’m doing this more out of necessity but I’m completely new to this & I can see myself being too lax.
- I don’t have good views on marketing, particularly advertising. I traditionally associate advertising with manipulation, & I don’t like the idea of selling myself on a false image. I’d rather just be up front with people on what I am, but I know how that can dissuade people.
- Compared to other IT professionals, I’m relatively inexperienced. Since graduation I’ve only had one IT role, which was predominantly a data entry role. I’m still at the graduate/junior level.
- I can see myself having periods of time where I won’t have any work. I do have savings to fall on, but I know it’s not a good position to be in. Getting into a position where I have a reliable work stream is going to take time, practice, & effort to build towards; I just hope I can make it happen.
- Lastly, I have depressing associations with finding work since I’ve historically had difficulty in doing this. Reasons span from work-related health issues to my own perceived lack of experience/ability to my perceived nature as a person.
With points like this it makes sense for me to feel bad about it.
At this point my only real ambition is to see how viable it is for me to do this, & how well I can do this ‘ethically’. Ideally I’d do this in a way where my work helps people, animals, & the environment in some beneficial way. We’ll just have to see.
I’ll leave this post with some thoughts on a prototype.
I feel like I’ve got a good basis for the core play loop & combat system of Sojourn, but now I feel like I need a setting, or at least some core lore, to create some test encounters & events. Since it is a storytelling game the writing, scenarios, & the setting/lore of the game are going to be vital.
So far I’ve had a more traditional fantasy setting in mind (something akin to a D&D campaign setting I was going to host), though recently a part of me has been wondering if I should use a different setting.
The alternative I have in mind is one I’ve been brainstorming on & off for years, & is more “established” in my head. I’m not sure how best to describe it in a few words, so I’m going to throw you several points:
- This mainly takes place on an earth-like planet mainly inspired by Celtic mythology. Other inspirations include the folklore of many other cultures, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Lovecraft, & of course RPGs (Dark Souls in particular).
- I purposely chose to alter/reverse some traditional aspects of typical western fantasy settings, e.g. no races like orcs or dwarves exist, societies are traditionally matriarchal, & predominant religions are typically Pagan in nature.
- At least one “spirit world” is intertwined with the “material world”. The Otherworld (associated with spirits, magic, & life) is thought to reside below the earth, & the Netherworld (associated with monsters, dreams, & water) is considered an incorporeal layer of the ocean.
- Magic is extensively practiced & studied like a science. Traditional magic is based on the manipulation of Aether found in all matter, though some practitioners utilize Nether found in water.
Thinking about this project & the setting has been one of the ways I’ve coped over the past month, which I take as a good sign. This setting has been something I’ve thought about using in a future “big RPG project” if I’d become an established game developer, yet Sojourn feels like a good fit for the setting to me. Besides, if I want to actually realize this setting I’ve got to work on it at some point.