Yesterday afternoon, I finally hit the wall.
Not in a scary way; I was going pretty slow and saw it coming. After more than a month of intense deadlines and constant pressure, there was suddenly nothing. As in: nothing aside from the regular high pace of game development, something I'm pretty used to at this point. (After seventeen years in The Biz, I should be.) I could focus on one thing instead of a million, and so, of course, I couldn't - at all. After a few hours, I gave up and went home.
This is nothing unusual, of course. It's always hard to get back into the rhythm after a long period of controlled chaos and intense stress, and waking up this morning, I already felt unusually refreshed and ready for the next phase of the project.
Of course, I can't wait for The Secret World to ship. Not only because five years is a long time to do any one thing, but also because the response to our latest media push has been tremendous, and both the community and gamers in general appear to be excited about what we're trying to accomplish. I think Jim Rossignol from Rock, Paper, Shotgun nailed it best in his excellent preview: our goal is to be interesting. Different, ambitious, creative - yes - but most importantly, we want to make an interesting game. A game that engages - mechanically, emotionally, spiritually - and a game that doesn't underestimate its audience. PC and MMO players are skilled, experienced, smart and creative, and a huge portion of them are actual adults. Not enough games recognise these facts. I hope ours does.
Here's the video we released this week, which you've probably already seen. It doesn't go into a lot of detail, but it does show a bit of the scope and variety of The Secret World, and it hopefully illustrates why and how we've been working on this game since 2006.
We've also launched a new TSW website, which you can find, conveniently, at www.thesecretworld.com.
I'll be back tomorrow with more about GDC, our presentation, perceptions, comments, corrections and feedback. After I've had a chance to pick up the pieces and recover completely.