I am an oathbreaker

When I started working on this game back in June, I swore a blood oath that I wouldn’t cut my beard until it was complete. Like Samson, my wavy locks would be a symbol of my indie dev powers and the proof of my dedication. And if I do say so myself, the beard I grew was pretty magnificent.

That beard is a national treasure.

But here’s the thing: when I made my pact with my beard, I was actually naive and optimistic enough to believe I would be able to create the entire game in three months. In a way, I’m glad I was so adorably cavalier about my ability to complete a giant project in a language I’d never written, in a framework I’d never used, with a skill set I had to build from scratch. Without that naivete, I might have thought twice about committing to a project this large, and self-doubt is the only really deadly poison a creator can swallow.

Easier than it looks, but not for the weak of heart.

This is all a long-winded way of saying: I didn’t think the duration of this beard oath through. And seriously, it was starting to become a disaster. Ever tried to keep a giant beard clean while eating peanut butter pancakes smothered in syrup every morning for a week in a place with no running water? It’s a trainwreck of epic and gooey proportions. And besides the hygienic issues, the beard didn’t exactly scream “software professional.” Even after trying to tame it with the most luxuriant beard oil money can buy, it was a still a wiry mess poking out of my face at whatever angle it felt like. It’s true that you can have a bird’s nest of a beard as a software developer, but the bigger the beard, the smarter you have to be in order to be taken seriously despite it. I was at least a half-inch over that threshold.

Knowing that I couldn’t possibly hold out for the year or so it’s going to actually take me to finish the game, I decided to cut my losses early and went in today for my first ever professional beard trim. The stylist did an admirable job, and my beard feels much more like a long-term sustainable project.

Anyway: I’m back from Burning Man, ready to start development once again. I had a great time and saw a ton of amazing interactive artwork, like this giant representation of the Mayan calendar:

I also plied my skills on the unicycle to take part in a parade, which ended up as a death match at the Thunderdome. Two wheels enter, one wheel leaves.

I’m excited to get back to work on the game, and should have some weighty updates in the near future.

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