Five years ago, I got the official paperwork making Pugsteady an official LLC in the state of Georgia. Five years ago, I dedicated myself to being a full-time, self-employed freelancer.
And man oh man, what a trip it’s been! Just some high points:
- Created my own world (Realms of Pugmire) which has since been made into two role-playing games, a card game, an interactive audio drama, an anthology, and a continuing inspiration to many.
- Worked with a large number of clients, including Wooga, Earplay, Hasbro, NBC, Extra Credits, Next Games, MetaArcade, Choice of Games, CCP, Paradox, Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Magpie Games, Evil Beagle Games, iThrive, and (of course) Onyx Path Publishing. I’m sure I’m forgetting some, and there are a couple of others I can’t talk about yet!
- Acted as Executive Producer and Creative Director for a company (Earplay).
- Consulted on a number of projects, both from a game design perspective and as a person with hearing loss.
- Traveled to several countries, and spoke at a number of conferences.
- And, most importantly, paid my bills!
I’ll be honest: I really expected that it would last for a year or two, and then I’d find some kind of “real” job. It took be about a year to realize that this could be a “real” job. And maybe a couple more years to realize that Pugsteady is what I really want to do.
What’s in the future? I’m not entirely sure. Every year on July 1st I spend a little time thinking about what I want to do in the upcoming 12 months. That’s really how I plan: take every year as it comes. But here’s how things look for me right now, and where I see them going in another five years.
- Continue to push the Realms of Pugmire. I have a lot of exciting plans happening backstage right now. It’s entirely possible some of them will fall apart —- these things happen —- but if they don’t… oh man, will there be some cool stuff on the horizon. But really, Pugmire is a huge chunk of my work these days.
- Keep moving ahead with long-term contract work. Onyx Path Publishing has been a non-stop client of mine since Pugsteady was formed, and I personally don’t see that relationship changing anytime soon. Plus, it’s comfortable having a steady stream of work.
- Explore more ad-hoc consulting and design work. While I’m not aggressively looking for project work like I once was, I still pick up new work-for-hire projects on a regular basis. Sometimes I’ll pick up a bigger project that takes more of my time, while other times I’ll snag something I can bang out in a day or two. But continuing to expand my client pool is something I’m regularly working on.
- Build a new world. Frankly, I love building worlds, and while I will continue to work on Pugmire until I can’t anymore, I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. Plus, there are some stories I just can’t tell in that world. I’ve got tons of ideas, but I’m slowly picking at them to see which I can build out into something bigger.
The fact that I can do this for five years with little interruption is because of all of you. Thank you so much for supporting me emotionally, personally, financially, and in so many other ways. Sure, once in a while I run into a jerk, and some days are hard or rough, but knowing that there is an audience for my work, that people like what I do and want more of it, keeps me going. So thank you all for keeping me here.