I’m proud of A Case of Distrust. In world where I didn’t make this game, but instead stumbled upon it by chance, it would instantly rank among my favorites. I love this thing.
It wasn’t always clear that I would.
March 2016, in the melting Penang heat, I was dejected. Four months of development, and I realized: my game sucked. Four months of scrupulous research, exhaustive plot creation and writing tests, extensive visual art trials, and meticulous code structuring. None of it mattered. The game sucked. The game suuuuuuuuucked. Why did I ever leave Visceral Games, or BioWare, or even EA Mobile? (God damn I had some good times at ol’ EA Mobile.) What made me think I could create my own thing? What hubris possessed me to give up my fantastic life? To do what — to make it better? Augh. I will never make a good game.
And then I did.
Slowly, I did.
So fucking slowly. It’s been almost two years since that Penang sweat. Both the tortoise and the hare have retired, but I’m still going.
In the interim I discovered something rarely shared: Every good game you have ever played has sucked. Go to GDC, E3, PAX, or IndieCade — find a developer, hand her a drink, and ask about the worst moment. It’s unlikely she’ll tell you about the hard crunch. She’ll share that point where the game was far along, and then, she realized, it sucked. The game suuuuuuuuucked.
And then, it didn’t.
Slowly, it didn’t.
So fucking slowly. But with careful analysis — a deep breath and critical questions (why does this suck, how can it be better?) — the game improved.
If you are at that low moment now, or if you ever get there, I encourage you to keep going. (Hell, if this is future Ben Wander, once again struggling to find the fun: keep going!) Be honest with yourself, but be hopeful. You’ll get there.
Slowly, you will.
Image by William Warby