Recently I talked about a life “flip”. A bunch of interesting things all happened in the same day. I didn’t really get into what they were, but now I’ll talk more about one of them.
That day I was suddenly presented with the prospect of starting my own game studio. A good friend had connections to some guys that wanted to invest a substantial chunk of cash into a next-gen console title, with the hope of seeing the studio grow and then making profit when it was sold off to a publisher. Wow! What an opportunity! They had angel funding that would keep the studio afloat for several years without a publisher deal, or perhaps could have pulled together twice that with some VC funding. Amazing.
My friend and I have always talked about starting our own thing, making games the way we thought they should be made, and to have this show up was an earth-shaking, out of the blue, unexpected touch from the universe. It wasn’t really a question of whether to do it, it was more a question of – how? where? who?
But as I sat ruminating, my heart and my brain fought with each other. While my brain thought “ooo, cool new opportunity we will learn much it will be fun but stressful you will get to grow you will love it do it do it do it”, my heart said “dude, would you just frickin slow down your life you’ve been working too much too hard ignoring your body neglecting your mind and not paying attention to friends and family what the heck are you thinking starting up something that will require another 100% of your resources you need to put your feet in the sand and stop to smell roses.”
I’m traditionally not very good at listening to my heart. But over time I’ve grown to identify that feeling in the pit of my stomach, that uneasy sense that things are not quite right, and that feeling of being off-balance, off-kilter, and needing to re-center and ground myself with my true feelings about myself and the world.
In this case, it was hard, but it WAS clear. Which is unusual.
So I pulled the ripcord and will stay at Sony. My friend (hi!) was incredibly understanding and gracious, and though he doesn’t quite grok my decision, he respects it (thank you). I know that in the future my life will take twists and turns, and I can never predict what will happen – nor would I really want to be able to. So, in the future, who knows? But for now, it feels really good to finally be able to dig in at Sony (that’s another part of the “flip”, for another time), and push hard on making PlayStation3 a successful platform that will bring a lot of enjoyment to a lot of people. That’s the work challenge I’m accepting for now. That one is big enough, I think. 🙂