It’s nearly a month into 2024. I’ve been quietly updating my website– there’s now a dark theme. I’ve added back the contact form, and fixed a broken endpoint. I am debating about what else to say.

I’m spending a lot of time working on an adventure game. Among many other things, it’s an immigrant story. The main character is a medieval peasant moving to a city, and her circumstances are very different than mine, but I’m noticing how much of the bureaucratic mess I’ve experienced has felt like a contrived puzzle. (I’ve wanted to post more about how I’ve found a good workflow for making puzzle dependency charts in Emacs, but my nesting partner overruled me.)

My stepfather was an immigrant from a village with 200 people in Croatia. He and my mother were only together for a few years, but they stayed married long enough for him to become a US citizen. I grew up around other immigrants from various parts of former Yugoslavia, learning bits and pieces of the language (mostly the bad words). As an American living in Germany with an Israeli partner, the process I’m going through is completely different. I’m living with someone I love and feel safe with– and in Berlin, most people speak perfect English. But I’m very much an outsider; I’m very self-conscious about my poor pronunciation, my lack of native speakers to practice with.

Being a solo indie developer is lonely to begin with. Moving to another country on top of that has been… difficult. I am trying to convey this in my game. Natalia Martinsson’s talk from the first Narrascope still haunts me sometimes.

More here when I have a sense of how to share it.