I’m taking a break from the Hats. It’s been a lot of fun developing with Mike, Ryan, and the few other guest stars and new recruits we’ve had over the past few months. In fact, it’s one the most fun groups I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of. Working with the Hats reminded me of what it was like to be completely self directed and self motivated, and I’d say that’s my greatest take away from this experience. Mike and Ryan are both incredibly talented and driven game developers, and I’m sure that they’ll continue to update the blog and post cool new games.
But I suppose I should offer a little bit of an explanation as to why I’m going on sabbatical. There are a few reasons I that drove me to this decision.
First, my priorities have changed in the past few months. There’s a lot of fun and interesting hobbies and events I want to try, and I feel like now is the time to make those things happen. Our regular Hats schedule was biweekly, for about 4-6 hours a day. That’s not a lot of time to make a game, but it is a lot of time out of the week to commit to a regular schedule. My departure is motivated by both self-interest and the Hats’ best interest; I want the extra time to myself, and I don’t think that it’d be fair to the Hats to only work a few hours a week sporadically. When you’re working on a team, meeting consistently and simultaneously tends to be pretty important. I think there must be a way to manage a distributed project (where people work remotely at different times), but meeting even once for a solid day is critical. And right now, I don’t know that I can consistently make one day.
Second, I hate Unity. Let me clarify. I think it has great potential for hobbyists, is a great prototyping tool, is accessible to script-minded designers, and the cross-platform compatibility is not to be overlooked. However, I think the Hats occupy a space between hobbyists and pseudo-professionals, and compensating for some of the… eccentricities of Unity in even a small team environment, working on a project with the scope of the Hats’ next upcoming title is frustrating, to say the least. At least, that’s my feeling. The pain is compounded by the fact that I spend the working day also dealing with Unity. The last thing I want to do is come to a Hats meeting after work only to continue working in Unity. I have to give Mike and Ryan credit for being persistent. In the last few months I found it very difficult to get motivated for another 4-5 hours of work after a regular day at the office.
Finally, I think there are some other personal projects I want to pursue. These projects might not be games, and I certainly won’t be working on them at the same pace that we were striving for with the Hats. Moreover, I’m also committing some time to getting back into playing games, not just making them. I spent a little more than half a year without getting particularly interested in any game, and I’d like to rekindle the spark that got my interested in my line of work by consuming and not producing.
Anyways, best of luck the Hats, and to anyone reading this who isn’t Mike and Ryan, I encourage you to continue checking in on the blog. I know the Hats are going to be around for a long time!