I say "creator", which has sort of weird religious implications, for lack of a better term. I'm not a writer. I'm not an artist. I'm not a director or an editor. I'm all of those things - I get plotlines, stories, beauty and rhyme slammed into my head by some unknown force outside of me, which then points and laughs when I don't have the skills or time to put them down on paper.
(I wrote a sequel to Nightmare Before Christmas once, in the shower. It's gone now. I got the whole deck plans to a Star Trek starship jammed into my brain once. These things happen to me with depressing regularity.)
I want to do games. Games have problems. Games, for example, are expensive like few other things in the world currently are. Games are also non-parallelizable to a painful extent. Games. Take. Years. And there's really no way to fix this - they're just plain slow to make.
I'm starting to think that, maybe, I should move out of games. I do love games, and I always will, but I'm thinking in many ways that a better approach for me might be to satiate my muse in other, easier fields, and use video game creation as recreation outside that. Art, perhaps. Comic books. Webcomics. There are options, and I have no doubt that I can wedge my way into them, given time.
On top of that, if I have a moderately steady income stream - and I have little doubt I could get a moderately steady income stream - I could hire other people with very little effort to do some of the side parts of these things. Artists for comics. Coders for games. I want to do the plot and design, and let's face it there's not room for a full-time designer on games - but there's sure as hell room for a part-time designer/financial backer. And honestly? I'd probably be happier that way. Most coding, at this point, is damn dull for me. Moderately enjoyable. But dull - I haven't had a serious challenge in years (okay that's not true, but the last challenge was hacking a feature into SCons that SCons was never meant to do. Nothing really, you know, serious.)
"Steady income stream" is another thing I've been pondering. I make enough off investments that I may be retired. But I also may not be. I'm sort of on the edge right now . . . and if anything goes seriously wrong, I may be off the edge. That is not ideal. So, one solution is to get a job - but, come on, this is me, I left Google partly because I was bored. I left Google partly because I was bored. I know what my strengths are, and "not being bored" ain't on the list. So I'll have to find something that's either consistently interesting, or something in small doses.
Contracting may work. The advantage to contracting is that the dollars per hour is high - ridiculously high, if you know your shit (I, of course, know my shit.) (I'm also unbelievably modest.) And while some people might hate maintaining old decrepit codebases, I actually find deciphering old code and figuring out how to make it do things it was never meant to do rather exciting. It's a challenge. By now, you know what I think about challenges.
And then I also keep getting people trying to recruit me for management/lead programmer positions in startups, so, I mean, maybe I should check into that. (Honestly why does this happen. I do not understand.)
I'm also thinking, rather seriously, about the best framework to do all this stuff in.
Driving - this will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me - driving is something I find relaxing and meditative. And, perhaps, I should be doing more of it. There's a certain attractiveness . . . no, scratch that, there's a definite attractiveness . . . in driving cross-country, stopping at hotels to do a few hours of work at each one each day, then recharging the brain on the drive through yet more desolate countryside filled with scorpions and snow. Expensive, both in gas and hotels, but . . . perhaps, saner, and more productive.
This all will take thought, and practice, and serious, serious consideration.