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Growing was a success before I even posted it.

I sent the final build of the “gift version” to my Mom early Monday morning. I went to work, planning to post the public builds and link them on the social networks during my lunch break. By lunchtime, my Mom had already played through it and responded. The response was just…


“Oooohhhh my goodness….that is the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen in my life, and it was for me, and it was from you, and it took you gazillions of amount of time, and almost lost! I am so not worthy!!!”

My family (in real life)Now that last sentence is pretty silly cause let me tell you some things ’bout my mom:

  • She and my dad raised 6 kids, and by ‘raised’ I mean she did ALL of the cooking and cleaning (seriously, I didn’t learn how to do laundry til college), and now works two part-time jobs on top of it.
  • She’s tirelessly searched for the diagnosis of my mysterious severe autoimmune disease. I’ve been suffering from it since I was 15. She’s been adamant about finding the answer even during the times I get frustrated and give up. She just never gives up.
  • When I decided to go into games, she not only supported the decision, she was straight up proud of me. She actively believes in gaming’s ability to change people for the better.


“I wish all [traditional] Catholic mothers could see this and then speak negatively about video games.”

I was SO HAPPY my mom said this. We don’t agree on religion anymore. She raised us all not just Catholic, but VERY Catholic… and I found myself kinda simultaneously pushed and pulled away from religion as I got older. One thing that became clear was my career didn’t stand well with a community who thought games were evil, violent and manipulative. I know my mom has to deal with backlash from said communities when she defends my decision to make games.

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YEAH, I’ve released my game! Here’s a link to the landing page. You can also get to it via the Games section of my blog.

That’s what’s UP! Many of you who know me well know this is a pretty big deal for me. The rest of you probably know little to nothing about the game, or even that Growing is a game. That’s my fault! I’m going to be more open about future game projects.

I started Growing at a game jam in May 2011. The theme was “Motherhood,” and the idea was that I would give this game as a present to my mom when I completed it. By the end of the jam, I had a working prototype that I refined over the next few months.

I threw myself into the work in my off-time. By October, I had an almost completed game that I felt pretty good about. But all that changed in an afternoon, when my backpack get stolen with my laptop, wacom tablet, and all my game’s design notes inside. I hadn’t bothered to keep my project up to date in source control (a decision whose stupidity is only really considered in hindsight) and as a result the only remaining copy of the project I could find was from the beginning of the summer, not long after the game jam.

To say I was devastated would have been an understatement. I couldn’t stop crying. I’m really lucky I had Kyle around because I had some pretty violent and irrational reactions. Growing had become a part of my identity, a bright spot while I was going through some major life troubles. The worst was knowing I had brought it all on myself with the lack of source control.

When I calmed down, the most difficult decision was whether to quit the project forever or keep going. The thought of continuing work on it was so fatiguing.

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