I carry this sense of guilt most everywhere I go. It’s about games – of course – and making games. I have this sense that I should be happy and grateful that I get to do what so no any others are hoping to be able to do. I’m in the thick of it! I make games for a living! Why aren’t I happy?! I have a job!

I don’t know if I’ve said it enough times, but yeah, I love the work I do as part of the job. I love the problem solving and figuring out ways to interact with a game that is easy, elegant, and beautiful. I love helping designers get their intent across, simplifying complex systems and creating an experience that players enjoy in many different ways. I do love it.

I even loved working as a producer, having a clear idea of how to make sure we reached our goals without killing the devs, puzzling out how we could build the game we were building in the most efficient way possible, without losing sight of design collaborations and processes that work for all developers involved. Needless to say, I loved design more.

What I feel guilty about is everything around games. Having pressured schedules that everyone knows will fail unless people step up and crunch. Having toxic individuals on a team that do not contribute but detracts from development. Having devs that are so afraid of punishment that they don’t dare to ask questions they know they should ask. And when I ask them (because of my inability to keep my mouth shut) and subsequently get punished, they thank me, but in secret. Sometimes even outside the company channels because the fear of punishment is so massive and overshadowing.

I feel guilty about not being able to just go with the flow. Swallow the indignity of just doing what I’m told and not question the status quo.

I honestly wish I was happy with that. Life would be so much easier.