i wanted to spend this year working quietly on wildflower, making sure it was really ready to be announced before we announced it. i think we did pretty well. itd be nice to have the gameplay more final, but its also fun to work on that stuff and talk about it in public. mostly im happy weve gotten some core characters and themes and visuals together. i think weve done a good job communicating whats exciting about the game.

i didnt expect this necessarily, but i also got the opportunity to do a refresh of my contract structure with wildflower, which was much needed. in the past ive made contracts individually with each team member, securing whatever rights i need for distribution and granting them a percentage of royalties. initially, just out of my culture's baseline distaste for talking money in public, i tried not to share too much what each person's % was with the others. it felt like it was private or should be theirs to share or something? ive always been an advocate for sharing salaries and generally talking openly about money, as a way to help people get paid better on average, so im not sure why this felt ok to me. in fact i think it never did quite feel right.

anyway, this time around i started talking privately with people, then okayed with them bringing the numbers more internally-public, and eventually we all signed one big contract that laid out the whole arrangement for all to see and understand and agree upon together. the new contract treats my role as the 'distributor' as more limited and defined largely by responsibilities, and places me alongside the other artists on the team as equals for the most part. it also lays out democratic routes for the changing of distributors, which is something that had never been fleshed out before. it has a clause about how new artists join the team, another long-unknown. and finally, it has a built in clause for any artist to advance money to another, basically a risk-free/zero-interest loan against future game royalties, which feels like a pretty radical, somewhat decentralized way for us to make it possible to work with people who cant afford to work for free. baby steps but important and scary ones.

hm. i originally wanted to digest this contract into something iwg could share. idk if its really legally enforceable and idk the legal risks of sharing it, so fwiw im not a lawyer and this isnt advice?? but heres the contract im using currently. maybe eventually iwg will share some version of this contract for others to work off of.


i really thought 2021 was gonna go differently for iwg lol. was excited to start the treasury. was hoping to bring on some more publishing-oriented members and start paying people for their work. had fantasies of starting internal porting and loc teams. we took some very serious steps this direction, including centralizing a reasonable amount of funds, starting a bank account with multiple members overseeing it and an internal committee to deliberate on money matters.

i think a major growth for me has been getting over the last of my producerist fantasies. i see what iwg could become if it grew into a non-profit publisher, and maybe itd be worthwhile, but i also see the value and work that goes into publishing and understand that it's not something i want to do myself. i want to work with more people.

i also think i understand better the machinery of capitalism, and some of my illusions about building beyond it have cleared up. i no longer see the state and the capitalist market as separate, conflicting things, and im much more skeptical of the possibility of working with corporate law to build towards a post-capitalist future.

working on wildflower, and the research its pushed me into, has given me a new faith in the power of actual social connections, trust, community, and culture. dissolving iwg's legal corp is for me an exciting experiment in the power of the sub-legal, or the super-legal. can we build a real collective democracy, across borders, outside of any legal justifying framework? doing so seems more important than ever to me, for finding a future beyond capitalism.

the pinery

ill have published 15 blogs in 2021, counting this one. i went into 2021 wanting to spend more time doing things (other than making videogames) that i found interesting and worthwhile. i felt myself slipping into a life of samey, consumptive depression, spending my evenings feeling overwhelmed by tragic boredom. ive lived a rich mental life this year. ive read and thought and written a lot. ive painted more than i have since college. ive played more games this year than last, i think.

im re-reading it all while writing this and im proud of it. mostly im proud that i started writing again, because writing is something i love, and doing it makes my life richer and puts me in better communion with my peers, even if i am a bit shy about sharing my writing.

games i played (at least some of) this year, and liked:

books i read (at least some of) this year and liked:

2022 is for resocializing

at the start of 2021 i wrote about trusting people and being hurt by them. 2021 was a year of desocializing for me, also because of the quarantine. by late fall i felt that i had lost perhaps every important relationship in my life, except the very few that i expected i was on the verge of losing. i was very depressed and very mistaken. looking forward to the dawning of 2022, i feel revitalized, trusting, and hopeful. 2022 will be a year of resocializing for me, becoming closer with my family, friends, peers, and my best self.

December 31, 2021