Full Steam Ahead

No, the post title is not a pun about us getting on Steam.

Rather, I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be working on Starfarer full-time from now on.

Last week was the last at my full-time job. For a few weeks before, I’d agonized over the decision to quit. On the one hand, the security of a regular paycheck and working for a great company. On the other, a small glimpse of a possible future for Starfarer afforded by the absolutely incredible reception of the alpha release.

I’ve tried for quite a while to verbalize exactly why I finally decided to quit, and was having a hard time picking out a reason that doesn’t sound like something out of a self-help guide. “Follow your dream!”… pshaw. There certainly was some of that, but would I give up my job and take a leap into the unknown “just” to do that? I’d love to say yes, but I honestly can’t. The reality was less uplifting and inspirational.

After a year and a half of working long nights and weekends, I was, well, Β tired. The whirlwind of activity after the release, while still working full-time, was more than I could handle. I got extremely burned out, stressed, irritable, you name it. Also a bit delirious due to the lack of sleep. Walking around, muttering to myself. I’m pretty sure I even heard voices once – which made me sympathize with people that do on a regular basis – it’s very unnerving.

Let me share a tweet Nicholas of Gaslamp Games sent upon hearing of me quitting my job:




More than you know, sir, more than you know.

It turns out, this altered mental state is conducive to making decisions you might not otherwise have the audacity to make. Something had to change, I wasn’t about to dial down the Starfarer work, and that was that.

It hasn’t fully sunk in yet. Wait, I don’t have to go to work tomorrow, and can just work on the game? And the day after that, too? And wait, no more paychecks, say hello to living out of the savings account? And I have to buy my own health insurance and pay quarterly taxes? Check, check, check, and check. It’s all still a bit surreal.

Thank you all for your amazing support. We’re off to a great start, with a growing community, a few in-progress mods, and some very positive reviews. I know I couldn’t have done this without your help, and I’m incredibly excited to finally spend all my time working on Starfarer. It really does feel like I’m living a dream.

… Guess I did come back to the self-help rubbish, after all.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 at 10:02 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Congratulations on a courageous big step (while I, lemming, will keep programming boring-to-death big financial applications in a big firm).

    Good luck to you, keep up the good work!

    by Gnoupi
  2. Good luck on your venture Mr.! You have my support at least! This game will be great!

    by Hanban
  3. congrats!!!

    by Glen
  4. Very courageous decision, i wish you good luck, as I have already purchased your game last week after it being mentionned on the CanardPC forum, and trying the alpha.

    Keep us posted to reassure people who have already purchased, and to encourage all the other potential buyers!

    And it would mean a lot if you could give us feedback on your sales, like a few other indies sometimes do.


    by Tom
  5. Well your guts to do this earned yourself a pre-order from me.

    Best of luck from someone else chained to a boring flat grey slab of a rock of a steady job.

    by Simon
  6. I’m a total newcomer to Starfarer and fractal softworks, but I want to commend you on your brave decision to leave your job and work on this game full time. Keep making cool indie games and you’ve got my support! πŸ˜€

    by Ponzu
  7. Woohoo!

    by Trylobot
  8. Good for you! Wise decision! I quit my job a few years ago to study art at University… I now have zero money and haven’t managed to find work in the industry.. yet but….. good for you! …. you hiring? ;)I’m good at making weird alien things if you need some (check my blog)…hmmm I’m guessing probably not

    by IMakeWeirdThings
  9. Good luck! You have my support!

    by Philip Radvan
  10. Best of luck. Try not to crash any computers on your first day ???

    by Frank Horrigan
  11. Thank you guys!

    @IMakeWeirdThings: Not exactly in any position to be hiring πŸ˜‰

    by Alex
  12. We’re behind you 100%.

    Now that you’re working full-time, blow us away.

    by Jay
  13. I really admire you and your courage to take the decision you’ve made. I’ve been eagerly following this game for updates since i heard about it a week or so ago. Best of luck to you!

    by Jeff
  14. Best of luck to you!

    by Brian
  15. I have to reward this type of bold commitment by ordering your game today. Good luck.

    by hemmingjay
  16. I really hope your plans work out. The project is most impressive by now! So my part was to buy the alpha to support you.
    I would wish for a big success to you.

    by Projekt2501
  17. I <3 Alex

    by huw
  18. Congrats on taking a big step! I sincerely hope it works out.

    Fortunately you are highly skilled and I’m sure you can easily become employed again if the need ever arises. Enjoy the freedom to do what you love and try not to think about the risk! πŸ™‚

    by Magicked
  19. yeah yeah yeah, great on ya.

    now stop the chit-chat and get to work on that game! i WANT this game as soon as possible!

    by ogto
  20. Good luck with it Alex.
    Hope it works out for you.

    by Ocid
  21. Just going to chime in with everyone else; Well done on your bold step forwards.

    by Junior
  22. Good for you, man. Life without risks is just too boring. You have a great product here, and I believe Indie games are the future.

    Big Biz has the bean-counters running things (and thus NO risks or original games), so it’s up to the Indie developers to create new and original games. And if you can make these awesome games for the PC and even port ’em to the tablets, 360/PSN/Vita, etc – you’ll have an amazing future.

    by VerMakt
  23. Sold one to me…I’ve barely seen any footage of this game (just found out about it today), but from what little I have, it’s exactly one of those kind of games that I love. And the dedication alone is more than reason enough to instantly purchase a copy. Damn, I love indie developers πŸ˜€

    by Skyrage
  24. People like you innovate the world and keep it an interesting place to live in. Kudos for taking chances and best wishes, matey!

    by Elsior