Often times, the hardest thing to do is to keep things simple. Not just in game development, but with everything else in life too. For reasons unknown, all of us seem to have a penchant for adding on complexity whenever we can – I certainly have.
My counter-strategy against that penchant is simple. Every now and then, I ask myself: “Do I really need this?” I do this with everything. Food (certainty, but no to a lot of things), sleep (definitely), reading (yes), Netflix (no), shopping (no). Most recently, I asked myself: what things in work that I don’t need or want? Turns out there was some low hanging fruit I could cut to make my work life simpler and better:
My website had a custom WordPress theme that aped features from fancy pants websites. It supported things like full-screen images and video backgrounds. I spent a lot of time building the theme, yet I never got around to actually using those fancy pants features… and the landing pages for Privacy and Stable Orbit each needed custom HTML to work around things that my fancy theme didn’t support.
So, I’ve made a new theme that strips away all the fat and retains just enough to, you know, run the actual website. The new theme also does some commercially sensible things, like have a newsletter signup form at the bottom of every page.
You didn’t even know I had a mailinglist, did you?
I dutifully created social media accounts for all of my “brands”: @jimofferman, @CodalynNL and @Privacy_Game. Why? Because that’s what other people do. Okay, so not all brands… I missed out on creating @StableOrbit. Still, I have three different Twitter accounts to manage, which is frankly ridiculous! To keep up with everything, I need to use this:
No more! Going forward, I’ll stick to a single account: @jimofferman. That’s the one to follow if you want to keep up with me.
This last one is a little bit ongoing, since I haven’t fully figured it out yet. But a recent GDC talk got me thinking. You see, whenever I talk about my games, I always make an effort to point out that Codalyn is just one guy. I don’t want to people to mistake my studio for some big outfit with hundreds – or even just tens – of people working on each games. I make games alone. So… why then am I hiding behind a company name all the time?
At the same time, I am very attached to that name. Did you know I chose company name that started with a C as an homage to a certain studio I admire very much?
So, for now, I’m going to walk the middle ground on this one and stick my name in the new tagline:
Codalyn. Games by Jim Offerman
What do you think?
Oh, and in case you were wondering: the image up top is a variation on an ad design I’m testing for Privacy.