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Me Myself and Choo

November 11, 2012


Were wondering what I could possibly be writing about with a title 'Me Myself and Choo?' Well I will tell you.

You see, I am more than just a game designer, I also produce animation and perpetuate the never ending evolution of Choo. Each day I must juggle three things. Mind you, I am not complaining. Each different aspect of development are extremely fun! In the end however, I feel as if I am torn into three separate ways.

Indie game development requires many different skills, approaches and paths. A world must be created for one's future game to reside. Hey, that is fun and enjoyable. Who does not like to let one's imagination run rampant? Think of all the poor souls who go to work and do the same monotonous thing over and over again. But it is not easy. Every new gaming world needs objects, is it to be 2D or 3D or a combination of both forms, monsters (or any baddies), levels (how big, how small, how many stages), sprites, colliders, forms of attack, forms of defense, how to monetize the game, music, cunning word phrases, hiring of voice actors, software, plugins, marketing and of course programming. All of these take time and effort. Frankly some of it is downright tedious.

Indie animation is different, spending time and energy going the extra step, that is, developing a more detailed (and in my case, open ended) world. Scripts must be written and character actions must be established. It is so important each character has the correct facial expression, hand movement and body language. You, you the animator breath life into your characters, grow fond of them and, yes, begin to think like them.

Finally, this brings me to Choo. Choo is bigger than life itself. It seems so much of what I do is through the eyes of Choo (after all the name of my company is Choo Parr Productions.) However, I want to make this clear, I know I am not Choo and do not have a problem distinguishing reality and fantasy. Being solidly grounded in reality is an important foundation in our business. It is through Choo I can release my satirical self. I get to look at humanity from the view point of a monster unconcerned with all the feelings, sensitivities and idiosyncrasies of the human race. Choo is my conduit and my lifeline of expression and observation. Hold on! Let me make this perfectly clear, I am a-never-ending optimist!

Therefore, every week there are clashes between the three.Somedays I have a script idea ready to be set to paper but I must deal with a future game marketing strategy. Other days I might need to develop Guy's character and Choo just will not get out of the way. There are weeks I do not want to write a blog from Choo because he just does not have anything to say...but I have too.

Again, I am not complaining, I just find it interesting the various different ways I am pulled running this company. I now there are others in this business who feel the same. These are some of the ways I try (notice the word I used was 'try) to deal with all of this:

One must ground him/herself in reality. It is alright to dream, look into the future, create and imagine. Hey that is our job, no? However, without staying in the here and now we can not do our job.

Do the most pressing thing first. My desk is littered this scribbled ideas I had come up with I had to sideline to get a particular job done.

1.  Surround yourself with good people. It is great to have people who know what they are doing on the project, but it is just important to understand the intricacies of their craft. Do you not want to learn and understand how every process works?

2.  One must have patience.

3.  One must be organized or in my case, semi-organized.

4.  One must be able to step back from the project when needed.

5.  Finally, one must not use conjunctions when able. (That is just a personal preference with absolutely no bearing on anything).

Of course, there are many other personal "guidelines," but I really do not have any except one; BE FLEXABLE! I suppose this discounts the above list, but maybe, just maybe it is the way it should be.

Now if you will excuse me, Choo just came in and has a question.