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  I'm not a robot, I'm not a monkey 09:59 AM -- Wed December 29, 2010  

Would you believe we're now out of Supreme CDs too? Still lots of Loonyland and a few Kid Mystic CDs... Frankly, I look forward to getting out of the CD business if I can. I don't make any more money doing it, and I have to handle sales tax on California ones, and I have to drive down to the post office, fill out customs forms, deal with shipments that don't get where they're going... I'd like to be all downloads like most indies! Maybe I should look into Cafepress on-demand CDs. Then I don't have to mess with anything, and I could have CD versions of every game. The downside is they're sure to cost a whole lot more, and be lower quality, which is a given with print-on-demand.

There's a certain problem with running Hamumu Software that I don't think people realize. Sure, it's hard to make games, hard to keep people entertained and coming back, hard to get noticed (imposssible) in the great wide internet, and all the usual business things. But there's another challenge. It's not unique to me, though - Linkin Park feels it too, as you can see in this excerpt of When They Come For Me from the amazing A Thousand Suns (Explicit lyrics, but not in what I'm quoting):

And it's seems ugly, but it can get worse,
Cos' even a blueprint is a gift and a curse
Cos' once you got the theory of how the thing works
Everybody wants the next thing to be just like the first

And I'm not a robot
I'm not a monkey
I will not dance even if the beat's funky

Okay, so the last part is not related, but it is the best part. Anyway, the more relevant portion describes something that bites me at both ends. And at other orthogonal ends. Back when I made Loonyland 2 (and to a lesser extent with earlier releases), some people were disappointed that it wasn't like the previous games, it was this big RPG thing. Of course, nowadays people lump it right in with the others, as if all our big games are exactly the same. But at the time, it seemed a horrifying departure. Then Costume Party. How could I make something without 3D graphics, and a platformer? How dare I!

Then here's where the both ends come in - I started making flash platformers, beginning with Robot Wants Kitty. Not only did old-school Hamumu fans flip out that this was not what they were here for, but suddenly, there's a new group. Much less loyal, but immensely larger: fans of the Robot Wants games. These people just want more and more Robot games, no matter how beaten into the ground that concept is. So now, nobody is happy!

Except me, of course. Because I just keep making whichever game I want. And luckily, there have always been, so far, people who really appreciated each new one, even if they're not the same people each time. It feels good to be making a living doing that. Sorry it's upsetting to so many people each time I make something new, but truly, I am not a robot nor a monkey, and it is for sure that I will not dance even if the beat is funky! I am a geek, after all. I work for myself so that I am free to make what I want. If I just made what people told me, it'd be the same soul-numbing grind that I'd get by working for a company. Except without the promise of a paycheck.

As much as it may pain you, your songbird will not sing in captivity. It can't. You can't force it. You have to set it free, then sit in the window and listen. Appreciate the songs that come in, though they startle you with their variety and intensity, they are the songs of a free bird.


Hmm, sounds like Skynyrd has the same problem? I bet they're sick of that song.
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