If your email account is anything like mine, you probably get a half dozen pieces of snail mail, emails, texts or phone calls every day from companies telling you how much they appreciate you.
"Just for you, valued customer #74563!"
"Dear loyal customer, or current occupant."
And you know, because you're not brain dead, that it's all just another example of the high quality bovine excrement that marketing departments churn out daily.
Void Star doesn't really have a marketing department. That's one of my responsibilities. And I suck at it. So I don't have some fancy marketing plan or strategy engineered to try to retain your loyalty or interest while VSS goes dark for a little while.
All I can say, with utmost sincerity, is that I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
It wasn't long after I discovered RPGs that I fell in love with the idea of writing my own game and having others actually grow to care about it too. The first part is easy. Anyone can write a game. It may not be a good game, but anyone can throw together something that can entertain you and your friends for an evening. The magic is in making something lasting, that others not only care about, but talk about, and share with their friends.
You people made that happen for me. And it means the world. Pretty much anyone in this business will tell you that you don't do it for the money. The money sucks. You do it because you love it. It's a creative addiction, and the money (if you're lucky enough to make any) just helps you feed it.
But every now and then there comes a time when we need to take a step back and reevaluate. That's what I've found myself doing over the last few months. The last year or so was huge for Void Star. We launched Tact-Tiles, the Savage Worlds version of Nova Praxis, and Machinations.
For many game companies, that's not much. But for us, it was huge. And as awesome as it was, as much fun as it was, and as pleased I am with the results... it took a toll.
Like most game designers these days, I have a day job. Very few can do this full time and take care of a family. And a couple of months ago I got a new position at a new company that is, in many ways, a dream job. I can't get into specifics, but I've been given the opportunity to dive into the world of military training and simulation. And if you've read Nova Praxis, you're probably not surprised to hear that something like that would appeal to me. But unfortunately, it requires much more of my time and attention than my previous position did. And working on military computers means that I'm very limited in how much I can be active on social media or support VSS during the day.
Normally I could still manage the day job and VSS together. But this is hitting at a time when I'm also starting to experience a number of health issues. It's nothing major, but it's several things that are really adding up. And it makes committing my evenings and weekends to anything other than R&R pretty difficult.
So what does that mean? More specifically, what does it mean for VSS?
Void Star is my baby. It's not just a job, it's a passion. Nova Praxis in particular has been, for years, something that I can only rightfully call an obsession. Researching and writing for it has challenged and changed me in ways I never could have predicted.
So it's not going away. It can't. Closing up shop simply isn't an option.
But I've got to take some time off. I've got to step back and focus on getting settled into this new day job, a new routine, and taking care of my health. I need some time to make some much-needed adjustments, in both my work and personal life. And hopefully, with a little time, I'll be able to get back in the groove.
We've still got a lot of work to do.