Posted by Javid Shamloo | Posted on October 18th, 2012 at 2:40 am
I’ve had this pent up inside me for a long time. Some of it you’ve heard before, some of it is personal.
My entire life has been building up to this moment. This dream of mine is on the verge of coming true. Most people might say, “Oh good for you” without understanding completely, very few will truly get it. For almost as long as I can remember I’ve known exactly what it is I’ve wanted to do with my life. Despite all the people and issues I’ve had trying to veer me off course I’ve stuck it out. Many sleepless nights, crazy days, headaches and paranoid delusions later here I am…making videogames, for you.
It’s crazy to me how a lot of people just wander through life without knowing what they want to do, without any goals or dreams. How many well-meaning, intelligent people waste their lives away at a job they hate, lost, boring, paying rent and eating MacDonald’s. Whenever I hear one of them complaining I always say, “well, so what would you rather be doing?” and their response is always the same, “…I dunno.” When I ask them to try and think they can’t. They complain of bills, past hurtful relationships, the fact that they’ve already got their degree, their “peaceful” existence. Deep down inside they’re not happy. I see it. I’ve also seen people, the very few, the very smart, who are doing EXACTLY what they want to do with their lives. These are the happiest people I have ever seen. They floor me with their enthusiasm, the constant smile on their face, their bubbly personality. I’m jealous of them. They stand for everything I believe in, my highest principles. They know what they want and they put in overtime to get it. Seeing them helps me to get my ass in gear and work even harder, because I know that that happiness can easily be mine…one day.
Ever since I was 12 I’ve wanted to make videogames. Almost every decision I’ve made in my life had been towards that aim. I enrolled in the Computer Science program at UCF cause UCF had the best CS school in the state and I was told that in order to make videogames, I had to learn how to program. When I found out that UCF wasn’t teaching me shit on what I needed to make games, I started asking questions, reading books, making small games on crappy engines, taking notes, anything I could (on top of my school work) to make my dream come true.
I enrolled at FIEA (the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy) after I graduated from school. After a crappy undergraduate experience and with all the extra work I had to do I thought I finally found a place with people just like me who were interested in making videogames and being creative. I talked with faculty, alumni and current students and they were all saying this was the best decision they had ever made in their life. I was excited. I would finally begin to fulfill my dream.
FIEA was one of the worst disasters I have ever been through. I quickly got a taste of how the videogame industry really is. A slave farm, overworking their staff and tricking them into conformity by telling them they had the best job in the world, “making videogames”. Brainwashing them to help them stay: a dark swanky looking office (shared with 10 other people), a ball pit, a cereal bar, 30% off selected EA games…and $35,000 a year working 16-20 hour days, getting yelled at, working for years under corrupt, unorganized management and producers and having all that effort go to waste as soon as the game was canceled. In one of the first classes at FIEA we were told that we would most likely be working on games that we didn’t like, that we’d have no creative input whatsoever, that the games would most likely get canned. Basically that we we’re fucked. They belittled me, shot down all my attempts to be creative, told me that I wasn’t John Carmack.
I’m not trying to be John Carmack…I’m being me, Javid Shamloo.
That school was a cult, the staff the cult leaders. It drove me to physical exhaustion, mentally destroyed all I believed in. The students and staff terrorized my ex-girlfriend until she was mute…didn’t talk to anyone for a year for fear of getting more. When I finally had the courage to get out, the admissions director told me, “So you don’t wanna work on videogames anymore, huh?” I replied, “Yeah, I do. But not like this, not through you guys.” She gave me a puzzled look that said, “You think you can make it without us? Who do you think you are?”
After I quit FIEA I was unsurprised to hear the exact same thing going on in the real videogame industry, with publishers buying out and not paying development studios, the slave farms, the years of buggy code that has been hacked over and buried for the sake of “getting the game out on time”. I couldn’t believe that one of the things that I loved most in the world was being treated like this, cheapened; the interactivity being taken away to the point that very many games just became QTE’s and cut scenes. I was very sad but also very happy, that gave me room to make all the awesome games that I wanted. Nobody was going to do the types of games that I was doing…and even if they did, I had too many ideas for them to take down all of them. I finally found my way…if no one was gonna do it, I guess I’d have to do it myself.
I’m extremely happy that the indie game scene has taken up the mantle and is making very ingenious, interactive, creative masterpieces. I’m again very encouraged by all this and I feel that we as indie game developers should stick together and help each other out as much as we can. We’re all in this together and we can turn things around, one game at a time.
With all that I’ve been through and all that’s to come I feel it better to lay things out in the open as to what I’m going to do for you, the gamer/customer who’ll hopefully enjoy the stuff that we here at Homicidal Rabbit put out.
I promise to uphold my honesty and integrity to everyone I come in contact with during this business venture. I promise to turn this into a very communicative company which values feedback and suggestions from its fans while at the same time not becoming a slave to them. I promise to make the best games that I possibly can, at a reasonable price so that you the gamer get your money’s worth. I promise to creative new, innovative gaming experiences and always push boundaries…never resorting to cheap and easy sequels and past tech to make a quick buck on you, our most valued customer. I promise to treat all employees and anyone who works with Homicidal Rabbit with the upmost respect and fairness. I promise, to myself, to leave a mark on this industry, or go bankrupt trying.
My goal here is to be different. A good kind of different. A developer who everyone knows produces top-quality material that’s great tech-wise and game-wise. I want people who play our games to instantly say, “OK, these people know what they’re doing.”
I’m not trying to do research. Not trying to optimize compilers or graphics algorithms. Not trying to cheaply cheat the gamers out of hard-earned money. I want money, for sure…lots of it, all of it. But I want to do it the right way, the honest way. It’s the only way I know.
Sooooo, let’s get this shit started. It’s time to put up or shut up. Let’s see how we do.
Welcome to Homicidal Rabbit!