My Hair Was So Stupid Back Then…

I am working on my business plan, and part of it entails figuring out which payment processors I would like to use. I know that the question crops up on the Indie Gamer forums a lot, and so I searched through the archives.

You know how people look back at high school photos and laugh at everyone’s hair? “Man, I can’t believe we thought we looked cool back then.” That sort of thing?

Well, going back over your year-old posts on old forums is kind of like that. Or at least it is for me.

Check out this thread about creating a sacrificial title. David York asked if it made sense to create a simple, easy to make game to gain the experience of making a game and selling one. Since hindsight is 20/20, why not make use of it before you make your serious game?

Now check out my response. It was posted July of last year, and I have definitely learned a lot since then.

I agree, though. Start small and work your way up. Gain experience, and then you can start to tackle the bigger projects.

Wow. Sage advice. Where the heck did I get off giving it back then, though? I am certainly no guru today, and a year ago I didn’t even really have any experience to speak of. Maybe it seems like obvious advice, but there are other examples where I was talking about theory as if it was practice.

I am sure Indie Gamer and GameDev.net and the Association of Shareware Professionals Members newsgroup abound with similar advice by yours truly.

At one point I realized that I really shouldn’t talk like I knew what I was saying when I didn’t really know about the topic, but I soon discovered that prefacing everything I said with “Keep in mind that I’m not speaking from experience, but …” wasn’t any better. And at one point I started to wonder if the “Man, these forums are starting to get a high noise-to-information ratio” wasn’t directed at me. So I stopped posting as much as I did.

Which was good because I didn’t spend so much time on the forums and was able to direct my energies to more productive matters. I can’t get paid for being one of the top five posters on the board, and I definitely don’t have as much advice on the business-end of things as other people might to justify that many posts.

It was like finding an old email I had sent to root at the email server used by my college in my freshman year. I had asked how to setup a website on the server, and he wrote back explaining how to create the public_html directory and changing the permissions to allow everyone to view it. At the time I had no Unix or Gnu/Linux experience, and so I actually wrote back, “Thanks, but I think it needs a better user interface.” Reading that email four years later, after I’ve been using Gnu/Linux as my main OS and have a much better understanding of permissions and Unix in general, made me laugh.

Man, was my smiley funny-looking a year ago…

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