And so 4 years have passed. Oddly enough not much has happened since, I moved houses 3 times and worked in 3 places. I found that being a workaholic doesn’t mesh well with crunch culture in the game industry. I did about 22 months of consecutive crunch (some weeks working over 70 hours), in the end I felt really burned out… it took me a while to recover.
Time flew by very fast, and on one hand I feel like I haven’t achieved much on the other… I have some new things on my CV. Eventually I left my previous job after two years of employment, but the reason wasn’t the crunch – it was an overly broad IP clause in my contract. I realised I cannot exist in a universe where I am not allowed to create in my spare time :D
Now I’m in a much better place, work is awesome and satisfying, new colleagues are ace. I can finally start focusing more on personal growth, etc… :)
I am dipping my toes in YouTube, Twitch and social media and planning to do useful and fun things… eventually. I spent some time learning about “content creation” (a technical term apparently, I didn’t know there is a whole science behind it). I am not currently taking it too seriously, just figuring stuff out and checking what is most fun to do (i.e. I’m not committing, just doing a playful exploration). I have been streaming a couple of hours a week and I published my first video a couple of weeks ago… found out video editing is fun, but very time consuming, I will need to find a better way to do it or make shorter videos.
I have been trying to be more active on Twitter as well, but I have a slight problem, my personal mantra of “if you don’t have something useful to say don’t say anything at all” clashes with the social media convention of “post every day”… so there is some figuring out to do there as well. There is the thing that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, but I’d rather not litter too much. (This blog is the exception because I’m the only one reading it :P)
I also started working on a personal brand… of sorts. Since I needed profile picture for YouTube/Twitch and I didn’t want to use my photo (because that would be lame), I drew a slightly exaggerated chibi self-portrait ^_^
It looks a bit generic but… that’s because I look a bit generic; messy brown hair, check; brown eyes, check; dull expression, check; headphones, check; fox ears… ok, that was a creative choice :D (I borrowed my foxy husky’s ears)
I actually drew a bunch more since my initial idea was to use chibi emotes for YouTube videos.
But the I really liked the dull expression emote so it is now also my new profile pic :)
I will need to redraw it at some point, as it wasn’t meant to be high resolution, and I didn’t want to spend too much time drawing them (there are some glaring mistakes when you stare for too long). I used a bunch of references and this tutorial was a strong influence, there were also other stuff I looked up on pinterest and google. It actually took a couple of iterations until I got it about right:
I’ve got some other brand elements… in pretty generic terms triangles (and triangle fonts) and the colors cyan, blue, yellow and orange or something like that (it is actually pretty vague in my head too). Cyan/blue’s my favorite color because I like clouds and sky, yellow/orange just goes well with it and triangles are pointy (triangles are a very computer games thing so I figured they fit). Thus this banner was born:
While on the subject, I guess I never explained where “Super Izzo” comes from. In Bulgarian “Hristoz” (my name) is commonly nicknamed “Itso” (what fam and friends call me), but because I thought it sounded cooler, in high school I started spelling it with two “zz” like an Italian would (think “pizza”). In some forums however “Izzo” was already taken (who would have guessed it’s an actual name :D). The first time that happened I had to come up with a new account name, and I remembered something I read in “The Game Maker’s Apprentice” (I was very much into GameMaker):
These days, some of the most inventive games come out of Japan. Japanese designers have a history of taking crazy design scenarios and turning them into brilliantly addictive games…
…Titles for Japanese games often start with the word “Super” (Super Monkey Ball, Super Smash Brothers, Super Street Fighter, etc.)
So putting 2 and 2 together SuperIzzo became a thing and it’s been my handle on most websites for a long time. Thinking about it in hindsight I sound like a bootleg Super Mario, and my custom font choice doesn’t help the case either xD
So what’s next? Hopefully another blog post in less than 4 years from now and I will try to publish more content in general.