Thursday, December 11, 2014
As of a few minutes ago, I've slapped that darn 'render' button, and the video is being birthed as we speak. At long last, #21 is out of my hands, and the only remaining wait time will be determined by the encode and the upload (which, over the past few updates, have both been very reasonable in length). For this I rejoice to the highest degree, as I can finally
feel the calm returning and a state of normalcy washing over my frantic neurons. HOORAH!!!
Now then, that being said, there is clearly some explaining that needs to be done. Luckily, I've got some time now as I wait for the render. As you all have no doubt noticed, I withdrew from the forums for a rather unprecedented amount of time, and in doing so even accrued a record-breaking devlog deficit. Two factors contributed: first, as I see some have already guessed, I did indeed fail to remain awake
Somehow, that always seems to happen, no matter how badly I resist the sleep monster. In my defense, I was a rather good boy
this time, as I didn't wake up in my bed but rather at my desk with my head resting on my mic's pop filter (how that managed to support my head remains quite a physical paradox to me
). Second, upon waking, I vowed to myself that I would not return until the matter of 21 was a done deal. I had grown exceptionally fatigued by this point of providing less-than-satisfying dev logs and either bolstering hope precariously or erasing it entirely. So yes, I hope you all will accept my sincerest apology when I say that I have indeed been awake for the last 16 hours or so. I certainly didn't intend to scare anyone, but at the same time, did not want to contribute what would no doubt have been another negative continuation of an already-negative situation. I am utterly relieved to be coming back to you now with a happy ending
(And can only hope that you guys feel the same?
Next, I want to turn my attention to the making of the video and perform a bit of a postmortem. Now that I'm gradually returning to a state of sanity, I feel I'm finally in good shape to shed some light on what exactly happened. I see that there has been some rather wild speculation in the update thread, even going so far as to consider that I've not, in fact, been working on the video, but rather doing something else
This is absolutely not the case, and I do hope that you all will be able to verify how much effort I put into #21 when it comes out!! For the past few days I've done nothing other than work on it. That being said, there was definitely
something odd at play over the past week or so that I want to analyze and explain, now that I believe I've come to a solid understanding of what happened.
To put it lightly, I've not been myself -- mentally and emotionally, that is -- for quite some time now, but especially since the video process began. While it was all going on, I would have blamed the constant 'one more hour!' slippery slope as a result of perfectionism
. To be fair, I'm no doubt cursed with some degree of that trait, for better or worse. But
, I'm now certain that this was not
the root of what happened. Yes, it's true, I tweaked, added, and even re-did things (both in terms of code as well as in terms of recording) to an extreme degree. But why?? Looking back on the situation, it's evident to me that this was not the result of my usual 'perfectionism,' but rather, the result of a crippling level of self-doubt and anxiety, as well as the resulting impairment, the likes of which I've honestly never experienced before in my life. Going into the update process, I've always got some
amount of this anxiety, and some
amount of "is it good enough?" "what if it's awful!! Ah!!" floating around in my head. But this was the first time that I have been completely and totally overpowered by these feelings. Before filming, I literally could not stop thinking about how bad everything was, how totally inadequate my work had been, and how nothing I would show would be of any real merit. Ouch
During filming, I couldn't stop questioning whether the video was exciting / inspired enough, and couldn't stop accusing my own narration of being dull and lifeless. Ouch again!!
The insidious rub with these kinds of feelings is that they have a very real tendency to become reality
. No, my work didn't suddenly become lackluster, but looking back on the narration process in particular, I find roughly a 0% chance that I wasn't actually impaired
by my own doubt. Typically, for example, my rate of re-narrating before getting it right is somewhere in the vicinity of three tries. This time, on the other hand, I would place the average
rate at around ten tries
, with several clips actually taking significantly more
than that, and one clip, in particular, taking somewhere around 40 or 50
Absolutely absurd!! Perfectionism? No, that's not perfectionism, that's sharp
anxiety coupled with the impairment that such anxiety causes. It wasn't just that I thought
those narrations were bad, it's that most of them were
bad because I was so upset and anxious that it was nearly impossible to remain coherent for long enough to say what I wanted to say. Interestingly, the whole meaning of the term "Limit Theory" boils down to the belief that mindsets are self-fulfilling prophecies. It's a bit sad to say, but, as of now, I have officially experienced the truth of this statement to quite an extreme magnitude with respect to the negative direction.
On the bright side, I can't help but look at this as a powerful learning experience. I feel that I've come to a better understanding of the Limit Theory
than ever before. You see, previously, I thought it to be solely
about mental state -- that one must simply gerrymander one's cognitive landscape into a magical land of unicorns and ponies in order for greatness to flow. But now, I must finally recognize that cognitive landscapes do not exist in a vacuum. It is circumstance and context that provide the breeding grounds for one's mentality, and the mentality, in turn, that provides the soil in which reality will grow. Just as tech and content must live in an entangled dance in order to achieve harmony, so too must a constructive consciousness and a constructive reality live in such a dance. The one creates the other, hence, neither can be ignored if fertility is to be achieved. In concrete terms, it means that Limit Theory
requires not just a positive mental state, but also an accompanying state of reality capable of housing and nurturing the mentality. My approach to the update process quite clearly failed to provide the right home for that mentality. For this reason, I am more convinced and enthused than ever that the proper changes to the development methodology will allow us to enter the final harmony that we need to give life to the game. Change is in the air, my friends
Out of the ashes of #21 will rise something beautiful -- the phoenix Limit Theory, given new life, new wisdom, and ready to embark on the final flight to release. A new day is upon us, and for this, I am utterly grateful. I think it was just the kind of cathartic push that we needed to mark the beginning of the end
I will not forget the journey of 21, nor will I file it away in a collection of memories better left ignored.
Now, time to come back to reality! I'll be posting the next devlog as soon as 21 drops. As of now, having burnt quite a bit of time on this little reflection, the rendering process is 5 minutes away from completion. Fantastic timing
Let us henceforth usher in a new era of good vibes!!
(Thanks for indulging me in that reflection. Apologies if I made any ears or brains bleed
PS ~ 37:00. Yowza. Beat #20 by 19 seconds!!
Be sure to bring a snack