Since attempting to launch the Mooncrest project, there have been more “ups and downs” than I can cover in one blog post. The greatest truth of the experience is that holding together a team while everyone individually has to struggle with the realities of life was a larger task than could be pulled together. And even with reboots with smaller groups, “real life” was still getting the upper hand. Eventually, this left one person… Me.
After all of this, I could only see two possible options going forward:
Option 1 – “Uninstall.” Accept defeat and get out of the game. With the challenges attempted and failed over the past two years, this option slowly became less ominous and more attractive. I do love making games, but the emotional and financial drain of establishing the company is crippling. Returning to the stability of life outside the game industry would make life much easier even if less fulfilling.
For a long time, I assumed that Option 1 was the fallthrough if the Mooncrest dream failed. Having to make all the decisions on a large project with the collaboration and support of a team was already stressful. Attempting it solo was (and still is) overwhelmingly intimidating. But one of the inspirations for starting KnightMayor has always echoed in the back of my mind – The pain of failure fades in time, regret is forever. I still feel like KnightMayor has a real chance and I don’t want to concede to regret. This was the tipping point that led me to go with the second option.
Option 2 – “Reroll a new character.” Start up a new, scaled back project that is achievable by one person. Push through the doubt and fear. Lean on proven instincts and years of experience. Trust that with a good design and execution, players will support the game.
While not as glorious as Mooncrest, smaller projects can establish KnightMayor as a trustworthy developer while it grows to handle larger projects. And more importantly, keep the Mooncrest dream alive. I have a new project mostly planned out and will start to share details and start some early prototyping soon.
Sometimes the only way forward is to take a step back.