London: My New Home

Trafalgar Square

So here I am in my London apartment. Sitting at my laptop late in the evening, not feeling tired or particularly restful, I thought perhaps I could use this as an opportunity to catch folks up on how I’m doing after having moved from my Perth home in Western Australia to my new home in the grand capital city of England.

While the decision at the time was a relatively easy one to make, I don’t think I really felt the gravity of that decision until I stepped through the departure gate of Perth International. Having said goodbye to my family and friends, it took everything I had not to tear up as I queued up for customs.

“I’m actually leaving,” I thought.

At this point, I’m fairly accustomed to travel. I’ve enjoyed a number of trips over the past few years, and I consider myself very fortunate to be in a position where I can afford moving to a city like London. But as I got on the plane, I began to second-guess my decision. This trip wasn’t just some two week excursion to a foreign land. This was me moving off on my own for the first time to start a new life in a new home far from many of my loved ones. In simpler terms, I was scared.

As the plane began to take flight, I found myself thinking about all the exciting possibilities that lay ahead of me. I would get to experience a culture that is both foreign yet familiar in a far more intimate way. I would, for the first time, have my own home away from home. I would finally be able to work directly with my friends on the dream game that has forever changed my life.

I sighed. My heart had settled. And I had found my resolve.

So how have things been going since I arrived almost two weeks ago?

Honestly, it hasn’t been as big a shock to my system as I thought it would be. I’ve been super busy sorting out a lot of stuff, and my apartment is mostly taken care of at this point. (It helps that I wasn’t bringing much with me to begin with.) It’s going to take me a little while to get used to being considerate of our neighbors and to keeping my voice down in the evenings, since back home we weren’t really in such close proximity with our neighbors.

It does pose a legitimate challenge to whether I can continue my Sven Plays stuff, as there can occasionally be a fair bit of noise from outside sources, whether it be people, gentle thudding footsteps from above, and even distant planes.

I won’t have my PC and internet for a little while yet, so I’m looking at all my options (soundproofing, unfortunately, is not one of them). I have some big plans for the series, so I’m determined to make it work somehow. We’ll see how that goes.

So what about Chucklefish?

The last of our team arrived a few days ago, and the office is almost completely set up now save for a couple of desks and computers. I’m delighted that none of the chemistry of our group has disappeared since last August (where we met for the first time at Multiplay’s Insomnia gaming festival). Everyone is clicking really well with each other, which can only mean good things for morale and productivity in the long run.

Hands down, the biggest boon will be having the ability to get instant feedback and support on everything. With the bulk of the team working standard office hours, and no longer in entirely different time zones, there shouldn’t be any more situations where I run into a simple bug that hinders my work and not being able to have it addressed until the next day. This, among other things, should speed up our efforts a great deal (even if you might not see it immediately, because we have some pretty big stuff lined up).

Starting tomorrow, we plan to kick back into full gear on Starbound, and we’re all very excited for the days to come. It’s too early to say I unquestionably want to stay in England for the long term — there’s too many factors I cannot possibly predict in my current situation — but at the very least I’m here until Starbound is finished.

So how am I fairing overall?

Very well I think. While getting set up has been stressful in some ways, I’ve had a lot to be happy about as the team has come together. I’m very keenly aware that I’m privileged to be in my current position: having a job I’m passionate about, working with some truly talented and awesome people. It’s a position I wouldn’t even have if it wasn’t for the support of the amazing community that’s built up around our game, and I will never forget that.

To those of you who have supported Starbound up til now — whether it be in the form of screenshots and videos, fan art and stories, mods and add-ons, criticisms and praise, even just the passing shout-out to our team — from the bottom of my heart, thank you! Thank you for giving me this opportunity to make something of myself, and to be a part of something special. It means more to me that you can ever know.

Until next time guys, take care. It’s time to get to work.

Sunset Over London

Posted in Chucklefish, Games, Life, Starbound | 2 Comments »