Deciding to Ship It

Doop
3 min readMar 12, 2020

If life was a game called Outside it would be difficult as hell. Hell, like the level in that context, not the actual place (which doesn’t exist since we all know the Earth is hollow). This game would have stats and ranks. Marriages and unions (guilds), friends and enemies. There would be war (PVP). There would be hardcore players in as much volume as there would be players who take pleasure from just walking around the ultimate most unfair MMORPG.

There would be life and death.

As a kid I often thought of the world in this way to keep things interesting. Just so happens these are also the kinds of things that cross your mind when developing your own video games. Or any software for that matter. Which is something I wouldn’t recommend to anyone who likes to keep their sanity where they can see it, because you are going to have to lose that. Especially since effectively thinking outside the box requires at least a little bit of crazy.

But anyway, you have to think in this way for long spans of time. Worse still, that length varies. And I know there are articles galore by those who preach the contrary of my next statement so call me the cynic if you must.

But game development sucks.

Highly not recommended. Except there is a small part of you that always remains optimistic, that’s the part you keep. Through hail, rain, sleet and snow you know something no one else does and that’s how much of you is in it. And you get in so deep you practically get lost in the narrative of everything relevant to this new part of you until…

Shit, where was I again?

Why did I start this?

Is it going to be worth it?

You don’t really know the answers. So then you ask hard questions and dissect analytics for closure since there is a lot depending on those facts. There is thought and foresight in your sheet or screen of numbers and as developers we like that shit.

You look back to see what you could have done differently, if at all, and then the choice reveals itself to you. It’s the one you have been looking for. Like a speckle of light in the void you have been staring out into for years and has no discernible features differentiating right from wrong.

But you have to make a decision. The only one that matters. It is your trial and you have been prosecuted for something you have committed to but have not done yet. You try to find reason but it’s all doubt and you’re thinking if only you could just ship it.

You are in the void and cannot tell if you are falling or flying. Your time is reflected before you in a black mirror. A voice at the back of your head says ship it.

So many thoughts rush in. Clamoring for the processing power you were born with but can only access through a dumb terminal and the blinking cursor is telling you to fucking ship it. You blink and a shift in the tide you didn’t know existed below the deck of this ship you’ve built gives you whiplash.

Suddenly It is just you and the passage of time traveling toward a waterfall you cannot see or hear hit the rocks below. And if there is anyone else at all aboard with you, you are one of the lucky ones.

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