I Am Indie | Personal
Dan Fessler is an artist and independent game developer currently working on Chasm. He writes about art, technology, and game dev. You can follow him on twitter @DanFessler
Last week I officially ended my employment as Art Director at Zynga to focus more on independent projects and self growth. I have a good feeling about this move. I feel more prepared than I've ever been and my hope is this move will allow me to be more daring in my creativity and truly allow me to express myself in ways that I simply wasn't able to do in the past.
Words simply can't express how grateful I am for having the opportunities that I've had. I felt like I've been on a rocket ship hurling me in fast forward through time catching me up on the last 30 years of game development in only 7. During that time I've had the opportunity to work on everything from licensed pixel art games such as Family Guy to real-time 3D multiplayer ones like Solstice Arena. I've grown from being a junior-level artist, to directing an entire team of artists. Luck is the only word that comes to mind. I've met amazing people and learned a ton. I've bumped into some walls along the way, but was able to learn from those mistakes and rectify them when I could. I'm a strong believer that if you aren't making mistakes, you aren't making significant progress.
Lately though I've been running out of walls to run into and running out of motivation to seek them out. More and more I've felt the hunger to do something more, but with no way to satisfy that hunger. It's time for a change. I don't know exactly what lies ahead but I feel confident I'll find the way as I go. It's truly amazing to realize how many doors are available for you to walk through if only you're willing to take the risk to do it. My first steps are moving to Washington state (both to reduce my costs and help my dad with his dairy home delivery business) and finish out the development of Chasm. I've officially joined their team as an environment artist and I'm totally stoked about the game. Definitely check it out if you haven't heard of it.
I'm in the process of redesigning my website which has been long overdue. My New Year's resolution is to be more social; more blogs, thoughts, and updates. Thanks again to everyone who has been a part of my life and helped me along my path so far. Stay tuned.