Posted on

Emotional implication in game development

Sometimes people tell me things like “you are very lucky to have a job that you love”, and they are right, it is such a priviledge, but I cannot answer that with my biggest smile because every time they tell me, I remember how hard it has been for me to get to our current point with our studio and how hard it still is. When I say “hard” I am not talking about number of working hours, crunch weeks or months, or the huge variety of responsibilities every team member has, or how brutally competitive the game industry is; but this means to some of us that we can work in a indie game studio, in many cases, making the games we really want to make in a way, let’s say, honest and passionate.

During the development of The Last Door, my responsibilities were design and art, creative stuff, scripts, dialogues, etc; and maybe because these new responsibilities I had I thought that the stress I was suffering from was because of these, and I believed so for a long time. Almost immediately, I started to feel that my personal life blended in with the professional one. If I watched a movie it was because I was doing research, if I played a game, it was to analyze it and not to enjoy it, etc. At first, I didn’t see this as a problem, in fact, I saw myself as a passionate, creative professional, involved in projects with all my heart and soul. The stress increased and I became anxious, like the main character of the great Silicon Valley, but without the humour part.

I am not a psychologist and I haven’t experienced those symptoms before, but when trying to analyze them I realized that part of those fears, if not all of them, came from the same source: the development of the game we were making. The game became the center of my life and was also the center of my fears.

Every project’s development is always a big uncertainty, no matter how well planned it is, problems will arise all the time, some of them will really put the project or the team itself to test, and in extreme cases, they will theaten the survival of the studio.

It’s been a long time since we published The Last Door, every team member has lived the development in his own way and learned many things, so this article is actually about a very valuable lesson I particularly learned, and, although I still am dealing with my emotional implication as a creative member of The Game Kitchen, I can say that I progressively achieved the separation of my personal life from my professional one. But it wasn’t easy.

Being developers and making the games we really want to make, we can tend to involve ourselves emotionally in this job that define us and that we want to protect to all costs. So one of the many skills we have to learn is the one that helps us to tell our job apart from what it is not, because if we don’t really do that our personal problems are going to have an impact on the project, on the studio and back to our lives.

And yes, we are lucky working in what we love.

Posted on

Some thoughts on the final episode

It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.
-Ursula K. Le Guin

Almost three years has past since the first episode of The Last Door came out. In such time, the series’ characters and ourselves the developers have gone through a lot of change. One could say that we’ve evolved as developers, as a studio and of course as individuals, while witnessing how the series managed to grow into a big, caring and supporting, community. It’s because of that, despite all the issues we’ve faced in the past, we kept going on, going forward. But as with everything that ever starts, there must be an end to this little journey.

Because all of this, this final episode is probably the hardest to make. Since we’ve started the series, we we’re committed to give it a meaningful ending. As we know from games and TV shows we love, good endings are remarkably important to achieve a global satisfaction. That’s why we want all The Last Door’s fans to have the ending they deserve.

Final Episode Screenshot
Wondering what kind of lessons took place here…

At the moment, the story has reached a turning point where all (most) of the truth should be revealed. There’re going to be many answers in this final episode, and so, players will have to deal with a lot. Story development for this episode is getting complex, wide and meticulous, so there’s no loose end when the curtain falls.

I won’t get into much detail about the story, but suffice to know that the journey will continue where the last episode finished. There’s going to be plenty of unexpected situations and horrific setting, making this episode the most intense of the series.

New Episode Screenshot
Fancy a bath in this out-of-this-world beach?

Answering one the most frequently asked question about the story of The Last Door, the plot of this final episode has been wandering in my mind since the beginning of the series. It has obviously suffered some changes as new episodes were being released, but essentially it has been always there. As always, even more so this time being the last one, we’re putting all our love and energies in the making of this final episode. We truly can’t wait until we put this baby into your hands 😉

We hope you guys are as excited about we are about the Season Two finale as we are.

-Videte ne quis sciat.