Another day arrives, and another evening at the Lionhead office has dragged on into morning. My first English summer has seen many a late night, and more than a few sleepless mornings. All with good reason; it’s for a good cause. Truth be told, I have no one to blame but myself.
It must be love. No other madness can explain it. None of these colleagues who share the predawn hours with me can be doing this for money. Or fame, or anything like so selfish. Making games is too hard, and the results too unpredictable, to enter this career with realistic hopes of vast material rewards. And these people with me are clearly smart enough to know the facts of life.
So, love. No, not of me – I’m too demanding, too difficult. Love of games? Possible. We talk of nothing so much as our virtual experiences and conquests, and it becomes difficult to imagine that they are anything but real. But on nights such as these, the idea of playing games is fond and distant dream. So, then, a love of the game we work on together? More likely. It’s already an old love, a love grown at once overly familiar and determinedly optimistic. We know the blemishes and faults, and yet remain always hopeful of making the object of our love better.
We joke about being in the trenches, but we are not soldiers. And yet what’s obvious now is that as much as we may become occasionally irritable or delirious, we struggle on because we refuse to disappoint one another.