I haven't posted here for a long time.
In 2020 I got sick. I noticed in May that I'd been very tired for a while and it was getting worse rather than better, and by June I had severe fatigue, needing naps every afternoon - sometimes just falling asleep in the middle of the floor, muscle pain, mind unclear, difficulty concentrating. I think it was most likely the Long Covid; I had a friend in my house in March who was sick with an unidentified disease that could plausibly have been COVID-19 (though at the time we believed it wasn't based on the information currently available), and after that we had mild cold symptoms - of course this was before testing was widely available.
The doctor wasn't much help. He ordered a bunch of tests and told me I did amazing on all of them. Blood, ECG, chest X-ray, apparently everything showed that I was in very good shape. Which is like, kind of nice; as someone who used to just do computer and books all the time I've worked hard on turning that around and getting fit and it's nice to have that measured. But it didn't do anything to solve the problem.
My symptoms fluctuated over time and I more or less learnt to live with them. Learnt not to suddenly try to catch up on everything when I had a good day, because then I'd just collapse again the next day. The one thing that did help, weirdly, was the COVID-19 vaccine. I say weirdly because it's not what it was designed for, but there's anecodotal evidence of other people experiencing this, I don't claim to know what's up. Even if it's just the good old placebo effect I'll take it.
Whatever the reason, I've been feeling a lot better for a few months now. I'm getting my strength back: I can lift things again now that I could lift three years ago but I couldn't lift last year. I don't want a relapse so I'm still being careful and trying not to overdo it. I'm tentatively working again. I still find it hard to make games without the long focused periods of time I used to have pre-parenting, but I feel there's no rush. I guess one lesson I've taken from this enforced break is to stress less about trying to keep up with the indie games scene and trying to make the right thing to make money out of it, or to live up to some fake expectation of being a "genius" game designer. I'll just make something I want to make, when I can manage to. Meanwhile I've been also learning new things and looking into work I can hopefully do in a flexible way around potential fatigue spikes and also still making some games and stuff. I reckon it's good for me as an artist to not just do games games games all the time anyway.
Even though I haven't been releasing new games, people still buy the ones I've made before. It's consistently been a few hundred euros every month which, while it doesn't cover the rent it's not bad for not being able to work at all. It's unfortunate that a couple of the older ones have dropped off from my not having managed to keep up with system updates, and it feels bad how that kind of ties me down - if I just went to work on something completely different for ten years everything I've done would be lost. Or if I got permanently sick. So ephemeral. But anyway, thank you everyone who's bought my games and kept supporting me in these times.
Hope you recover soon, dude. Blessings.ReplyDelete
Having kids is exhausting all on it’s own. Thanks for what you created for us all. I’m glad you’re on the road to recovery.ReplyDelete
I'm very grateful for all your beautiful games, and will no doubt spend many more years pondering and playing them. Wonderful to hear your health has improved.ReplyDelete
Get well, get well soon Michael. The world of games needs you.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you came out on the other side and that you're doing ok. I like your thoughts about how being an artist can mean something besides games, or in addition to. The older I get, the more I add "things" to what used to occupy all of my attention. My life (and work) is much richer for it. Keep exploring and don't forget to check in here every once in a while, too :)ReplyDelete