My life has changed a week ago.
My dad, after 5 years of not seeing him, arrived in Los Angeles, CA all the way from Charlotte, NC. He proposed to me the prospect of coming with him to help out on his business, make $300 a week, and support my dream of becoming a game designer. I agreed. One week later, I'm leaving and coming back to LA.
Let us get into a bit of detail:
Before my dad came back, I had a job at a Quiznos, a sandwich shop, that only gave me 10 hours of work if they had it. I was lucky to get $100 every two weeks. I lived in an apartment that had a million cockroaches, I couldn't afford anything unless I pay for it through credit card, and I put up with all that. The reason why is because I have a dream of becoming a game creator. I want to make a game that people will love and make money from it to make the next great game, with each passing game becoming more and more brilliant than the last. I put up with all that for my dreams.
My dad comes in, I tell him about my dreams, and he said he was all for it but I needed help and I should come with him to "change". I put that in quotations because he was very vague with what he meant but I figured that I was going to change. He was going to pay me to help him in his business, a trucking company where you haul products across states. It sounded good so I said yes and we started on our cross-country trip from California to North Carolina.
That's when it happened.
My dad has this tone of voice that sounds like he's angry most of the time. He's not angry, or so he says, but he has this strong, angry tone that sounds like he is. But of course that comes from somewhere. Well apparently we stopped to get something to eat and all I asked was for a fork and he gets angry. He asks me to give him a slice of pizza while he's driving and I hand him a slice on a plate. He gets angry that I gave him a plate with the pizza instead of just the pizza. He wanted me to pump gas, something I never really done before as I don't drive a car, and to fill it up to $40. Whether he told me or not, I was suppose to push the thing on the nozzle that adds fuel but I didn't know this so it just stops at $38.00 and I put it away. He get's angry. He asks me to order something from Denny's for both of us but I accidentally only ordered for one. I caught this and was about to ask the cashier for another order and my dad walks in on that moment. He says that it was fine, he wasn't that hungry. Hours later, he gets angry about it.
And it's just not me thought. He once pumped $39.00 worth of gas but paid $40. He asks me to get the remaining dollar and I do. The cashier says that since he paid with debit, it's automatically returned. My dad barges in and demands the $1 in person in his furious tone of voice.
That's my real problem with him. It's not the job of working with trucks, I can do that. It's not that he wants me to learn how to drive, I can do that (yeah, I don't know how to drive, specifically, the actual rules). I can even go to some electrician school that he wants me to go to, no problem. However, it's his anger. I'm sure he doesn't seem to notice but he sounds really angry almost all the time. I called him out on it but he simply said that he wasn't angry.
But this is not the reason why I'm going back. Like I said, I was living for my dream. I have a game I'm making right now and I'm suffering for it. Hunger, cold, my low hours and pay, living with my mom and brother rent free. I was putting up with all this because I have a dream and I know that if that dream comes true, then I can take care of my loved ones. I can rise in this world that is making me suffer. I can do it! I know I can! I didn't really told all this with my dad but I did told him my dream. Well he went from being somewhat interested, to completely forgetting about it. He wants me to work on his job all day long, go to school all night long, sleep, and repeat until... I go crazy I guess.
There is no room for my dream in my dad's plans.
Well that's it. I'm leaving Charlotte and returning to Los Angeles. He gave me an ultimatum: go back to being a bum in Los Angeles or have opportunity in Charlotte. I choose being a bum. I have security here in Charlotte, food in the fridge, I live rent free with good pay. Yet, I choose to go back to LA to no job because my dad not only made me quit but get up and leave it without a word to my manager, and perhaps no home. I don't know if my brother will take me back. Still, I choose suffering over security because I have a dream and if my dad does not have room for my dream in his plans, then I'll go back to my suffering.
Perhaps you are shaking your head, saying "How can you do this? Are you stupid? You have a job and a home RENT FREE and your giving it up?" Yes. I am. No security is worth giving up for what I believe is my life calling.
I'm typing this in my dad's home at night, but tomorrow morning, I'm telling him I'm going back to Los Angeles. His ultimatum offered me a free one way trip to Los Angeles but we'll see if that was a lie or not. If it was, then I'm walking 6 hours to the airport.
I guess I'll throw the gauntlets at you guys, what would you guys choose? Live in security with all the perks of a successful business under the management of a person who wants to throw away your dreams for his designs, or give it all up to pursue what you believe is your life calling?
Seems like the really logical choice here, since living without a purpose isn't life at all. Or at least not a human life. I mean, you could have taken the job as a sort of in-between thing, and done that until you were well off enough to consider other options, but that's just hindsight from someone who has no idea of the finer points of the things going on. I'm sure if your game is good and it gets the right exposure, there'll be enough to keep you going, but entertainment and all other subjective industries can be brutal ones. It doesn't pay very well unless you really hit it out of the park, but you can certainly live off of it, and if that's your passion, you wouldn't need to spend money on that much else.
Im kind in the same boat as you, I wanted to ethier go into game design or become a author, since i didn't want to have to go through student loans to go through the game design route, I choose the cheaper end of the latter. Sucks when something you want to do is not financially stable in your eyes or your peers, Would i want to change careers though? Hell no. I don't mind failing at my job and having to live with my parents for a few months while working a minimum wage job to get back on my feet. Guess i take those kind of parents for granted.
Decent writing, a bit pretentious. If you are serious, I would suggest, as a fellow LA moron but without any sort of silver cloud, that you just work on your abs and get a 20k a month job doing stunts or B movies. Alternatively, I'd say chop the writing in half - nearly everyone 13-25 has terrible ADHD, due to constant stimuli. So, maybe 10% read all those paragraphs you wrote. Not trying to be critical, no opinion whatsoever. // Only way into the gaming business is by interning for free.
Oh, hey, madglee! You're back!
*misses point completely* Apparently I fit in that 10%. ^_^ [although I do agree with the point I supposedly missed. Most would tl;dr.]
*ADHD runs off on a tangent, starts rambling about various other small percentages I fit into before catching myself.* Pretty sure that'd really be derailing, which would be face-palm worthy when starting the derailment replying to a mod, soooo....
For the love of God, this is a writing site. Reading something this "long" should be the bare minimum.
And Madglee is correct. Only way to break into a fiercely competitive scene is by working hard for very little compensation. I think you made the right move going back to L.A. My tip for you would also be to expand your virtual portfolio a bit more as well. Don't just go all out on a single game, branch out into other small projects. If you're into game art, make a decent sprite sheet. If you're into coding, take the time to practice your craft, create new software, small apps, etc. You'll attract more employers if you can visually show them your abilities, rather than putting it on your resume and saying "I can code, and draw, and stuff." vs. "Here, let me show you what I can do."
Good Luck! From someone who was interested in the gaming industry a little whiles back, I'd say you're playing life in hard mode! But it'll be so much more rewarding if you succeed.
Suffer for dreams.
Although suffering for my dreams may make them become easier.
Dream; To be an author/artist.
Suffering = Great material to write about with the added bonus of it being 1st hand experience, and provides inspiration for some heart-wrenching drawings or music in one neat little package to achieve all I could ever hope to achieve. :D
And if it's bad enough to get me suffering at this point, it's gonna have to be downright traumatizing.
It's your life, you should live it as you see fit because all humans have that right.
That said... delaying a dream for the sake of stability is not the same as giving it up.
If you suffer even for having security, might as well suffer for something you think is worth suffering for. I just gave up the "secure" aspect not oo long ago, and it hurts a lot more, but it's a new kind of hurt for me.
I'd probably wouldn't be here if I didn't start chasing a dream, anyway.
Charlotte is not a land of opportunity. I live in North Carolina and it's not a good place to be to following any dreams. Go to Los Angeles and do something with your life.
There are a lot of famous people who came from NC... And if I'm not mistaken, Michael Jordan got his start there. :P Considering he's one of the most famous sports players of all time, I'm going to have to disagree.
Besides, there is no 'land of opportunity', there is only good luck, good connections, and the opportunities you make for yourself. You can be famous anywhere, but you need one of those three... If not all of them.
Come out here to Arkansas, find you a house in the boonies, buy yourself a decent computer, and earn your living removing raccoons from people's attics. No need to live in California or even a major city; the brunt of indie game design doesn't even require you to wear clothes.
I think it is different for different people.
After I failed University (for the second year in a row which is a sort of achievement, most people only fail once) my Dad got me a job building houses in the rainy mud for 18 months. I had to work with some interesting characters including one guy who we called Mr Fuck Fuck because that was pretty much all he ever said, he was sort of angry most of the time but he never really meant it personally, he was pissed off at the world for a number of reasons (I could be mean and tell you them but I won't). It wasn't fun but after 18 months I was in a better position and could head off travelling.
I think it is different when it is your Dad though, it's hard not to take things like that seriously, even though it's just the way they are in the same way some people are generally happy people, or some people are generally depressed people or some people are just generally angry people. You must do whatever is right for you, if you think you can deal with Charlotte it will help you or if you think you have better chances in Los Angeles go for Los Angeles. You can succeed in any place as long as you keep trying, work hard and also catch a few lucky breaks :)
Stay in Charlotte for security. Do the absolute bare minimum, perhaps even do a half assed job if you can get away with it.
As you're doing that, work on your game in secret when you can while still reaping the benefits of security and resources.
Frankly, I thought about saying something like this myself. This is the smart option, if you could handle it, Dynamism.
Woo! Team realists!
Guess I'm gonna be that one guy who says to stay safe, huh? Oh well, fuck it. I don't exactly have a dream yet, so that's partially the reason as to why I'm saying I would rather keep safe, but at the same time just think about it. This is an opportune chance to learn about new things whilst keeping financially secure. You can't really find that too often nowadays, with a degrading economy and whatnot (well it depends where you live). And nothing is stopping you from making time to make your game, at least as far as I'm concerned.
I guess it depends on what you want and how you think about it. You've got a lot of years left to live, dude, so there's plenty of time. Of course, I try to live in the present, so yeah. In the end, there are no right or wrong choices, only the choices you made.
Hey, there was Endmaster's post... And I did say "... delaying a dream for the sake of stability is not the same as giving it up. "
And sometimes parents do not act like wise, loving parents, but controlling, abusive, angry assholes. Better to know the whole story, really...
Yes, that's true... I guess what I meant was that it's better to know greater detail when implying that parents are usually right if you meant it as advice. Also, you said (or rather, meant to say,) "those dads" implying multiple fathers. Unless you have multiple fathers, you are speaking for a group of people, potentially a very large group of people, and it rings a bit... less sincere, if neither personal experience or statistics fully back a statement. I do appreciate playing devil's advocate as a goal, but I find this a delicate topic.
Good call on most of that. I'll admit it: I did overeact when I made this overly long yet poorly made essay. It's not that bad here even if my dad has that attitude of his so I was in my haste. To be honest, I should've talked to my dad about my dreams more, even if he wouldn't know a thing about video games and probably have my words slip off of him like teflon.
So I'll agree with you. There are some things that were farfetched in my head but not that bad and actually my fault. I'll try to make the best of it and improve myself.
Also, as for my previous job, I actually did have time to call my manager, but I wanted to do it proper. I would've liked to at least give them a week instead of walking out on the next day.
Sorry to break it to you, but unless you are the next programming superstar (and get lucky enough to get your game noticed), where you choose to live is a moot point.
You can follow your dreams in either situation. No one controls your free time. But that being said, just dabbling on a game in your free time won't get you anywhere (unless you are a programming wiz and somehow make it big with a groundbreaking VR game or something).
Dreams of being a game designer are great, but you need a plan.
Either go the school route, make a kick-ass project, and get an internship at a game company... or get very well connected with a group of people developing a game that will get noticed -- perhaps a kickstarter or something.
By the sounds of it, you just need to find a decent paying part-time job to work on your passion project. Think of all the aspiring actors and actresses in LA... servers, bartenders... there's some decent part-time jobs that can pay surprisingly well and give you the flexibility to work on projects.
But I recommend university. There's nothing like it -- especially in game design you will meet like-minded people and probably some lifelong friends and possible business partners. Plus university is a lot of fun, and it is extremely hard to go back to university after you start "real life" and try to pay bills. Take advantage of the free rent and go to school. Nothing legitimizes a dream quite like a degree (at least for the short term).
Anyhoo... good luck! Interested to find out what happens.
Standard advice for anyone wanting to enter any creative field is: Don't quit your day job.
Everyone wants to make a game / write a novel / start a band. The market is flooded with amateur work. The odds of you being among the fraction of a percent who eventually make a living following their dreams? Not good.
Now, you're obviously going to do what you've decided to do... and as someone who's also trying to beat the odds, I'm in no position to tell you not to try. Honestly, if you have family members who are willing to support you while you work on a game, I can't even say that's the wrong move. In the current economy, it's not like a degree is a magic ticket to a good job.
I'll say this, though, if you're looking for advice: Start small. Make the smallest game you can possibly monetize... because however small it looks on paper, it's likely to take 10x as long as you expect.
Thanks for all the wonderful things you guys have responded with. I'm surprised just how many people have dreams they aspire to reach just like me.
Well, as much as I made a big stink about it, I didn't go to LA. My brother got pissed when I told him and I was going to tell him that I was going to make it on my own even without his help. Well... I froze. Turns out my confidence isn't at a point where I can talk back to people. If I can't talk confidently to my bro, then I don't have the stuff yet to make it on my own.
So I'm still in Charlotte. My dad, to my surprise, wasn't angry (at least by his definition), actually gave me a choice of not going to school (albeit he's cutting my pay to $50) and things are getting a bit more mellow. Still, I want to go back to LA and I'm going to do anything I can to make this game I'm working on succeed, including buying advertisement. I feel like my dreams can be reached, I just need to devote all my free time to it.
Whatever you do... if you are in high school... do not drop out of school.
You have 80 years to make shitty games.
Go to school while you can.
I'm fairly confident that he was talking about college, since they were night classes.
And you never know when you're going to get pushed out a 30-story window.
Sounds like things are working out then. Just keep yourself safe and well so you can keep pushing forward to your goal. Basic needs first, dreams second.
How about working on your dream career in Charlotte. Maybe compromising would work.
How the fuck did you "not have tim to tell your manager"? What kind of person doesn't think to tell their employer that they're leaving forever.
Also, you're probably not going to have your game published. Work on a realistic goal, and work on it in your spare time; just don't bank on it.
Okay, that sounded terrible and Playa's calling me "Dreamkiller". What I was trying to convey is that a "big break" is very unlikely, and it's best to have security and not count on it happening.
I went on Quora for thoughts on Video game startups.
They said i needed 1.5 million in capital.
My dreams have been killed, well unless i can get a small loan of a million dollars.
As long as you're willing to sacrifice a year of free time, you can make a fairly decent game for free.
think that guy who made Unturned made it with little cost, Just hard to imagine doing coding, Art, Sound, testing, and other things all alone. Mainly because you either want to mainly do Art or programming, I suck balls at art xD