Author Topic: Whatever happened to that Chris Park guy?  (Read 1584 times)

Offline x4000

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Whatever happened to that Chris Park guy?
« on: January 25, 2019, 06:36:18 PM »
Right - so I took a 90ish day sabbatical from work. What the heck was that all about? I said I'd update you guys on that (and be coming back to work properly) in January, so here we are. This was a really tough video to make, but overall I'm doing well these days.



There is a new release that also just came out today, so things are getting back into gear production-wise, which is good.  That release is the cumulative work of the volunteers over the last month, they've been amazing.  Coming up this next week I will be able to actually get cracking on some creative work of my own, for the first time in basically a quarter.

Thanks again for your patience with me during this, everybody.  It really has meant a lot.
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Offline Breach

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Re: Whatever happened to that Chris Park guy?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2019, 06:59:18 PM »
Thanks for the video Chris, personally speaking I think it was very brave of you to make this.  Everything you've said is understandable, it's a huge time of discord and uncertainty for you, and of course it's important that you take every opportunity to spend time with your kid.  And so I think it's important that you allow yourself the ability to do that, which does include a healthy work-life balance as you mentioned.  It might even mean spending a bit more time than that away from Arcen to do other things that need doing for whatever reason. 

With all that said, even if Arcen were to close tomorrow (and I sure hope it doesn't!), while I'm sure people would be sad or disappointed, that would only be because there wouldn't be any more imaginative, innovative, and fun Arcen-made games!  You've already established a great legacy in game development and set a bar for developer-community interaction that, honestly, I have yet to see approached, let alone reached.  So I hope that at least gives you something to hold on to when times are a bit difficult.

Most importantly, stay well.

Edit: It's remiss of me not to mention my appreciation for the volunteers, they've done a wonderful job and I'm sure will continue to do so.  It's just another example of how strong the relationship is within the community.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 07:01:59 PM by Breach »

Offline x4000

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Re: Whatever happened to that Chris Park guy?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2019, 07:02:36 PM »
Aww man, you're going to make me cry!  Probably shouldn't say that either, but I'm a bit heart on my sleeves even more than usual these days.  That really means a lot, thanks for saying all that.

I do want to stick around - there's not another career I prefer.  I wish everything in life wasn't quite so difficult as it has been, but I'm working on that I guess.  Things are better than they were.
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Online BadgerBadger

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Re: Whatever happened to that Chris Park guy?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2019, 07:56:53 PM »
We're all glad you are back!

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Whatever happened to that Chris Park guy?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2019, 11:08:25 PM »
Wow Chris. I can certainly understand how rough that would make things for you and how hard it is to talk about. Not to mention making it hard to focus on the game.

Thanks for the update.  You know we're always here for you.

Offline Castruccio

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Re: Whatever happened to that Chris Park guy?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2019, 11:14:28 PM »
Welcome back, Chris.  Just one thing:  you are not now, nor will you ever be, "half a dad."  Your son won't ever see you that way, so there's no use in seeing yourself that way.  You're a full dad for your entire life and his!

Offline tombik

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Re: Whatever happened to that Chris Park guy?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2019, 09:17:02 AM »
Thanks for sharing this pretty personal video for us to make us have an easier time forming the empathy.

I am excited for your future projects, and I will be including you in my prayers.

Offline Misery

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Re: Whatever happened to that Chris Park guy?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2019, 11:19:06 AM »
Okay, so I just watched the video.  I've got a few things to say, I'll try not to get too rambly, but you know by now I aint good at keeping things concise.

Firstly, no need to be worried about having taken a break.  It sounds like you really needed it.  But not just because of the stuff you mentioned.  I, and probably a few others, have always thought that you tend to push yourself too hard in regards to work, and that has often been... worrying, to say the least.  So with that, plus what you're going through these last couple of months, yeah... methinks a break is fine.  So is asking for a bit of help.  I mean really, anyone that'd give you flak for that is a snot.  If you need help... ask for it.  Just suffering in a corner doesnt do anyone any good.  So kudos to you for just doing so.  And to heck with what anyone else thinks.

Seriously, we all care about you here.  Heck, I've known you for... how long now?  Man, I dont even know anymore.  I think I came around when Valley 1 was in beta?  Ugh, has it been that long?  Bah.  But one way or another, I'm glad to have gotten to know you a bit and I'm thankful for everything you've done.  I mean, you gave me the one freaking thing I'd wanted since I was a little kid in the NES days, and it was something I thought I'd never, ever get to do, having already failed at the whole college thing (that being before indie games exploded).  You gave me a chance, when hardly anyone else would have ever even considered doing so, and I got to help make a game (and not just any game, but a game in the style of my all-time favorite, Isaac).  And expansions!  It's honestly one of the best things that's happened to me in... a very long time, and it's all thanks to you.   I cant thank you enough for that.  And on top of that you've always put up with my sarcastic presence.  Not everyone does that, no sir.  So a thanks for that too.


So here's the big question:  Is there anything at all I can somehow help with?  I'd suggest something directly, but I've no idea what it'd be, or what specifically you might need right now, if there's even something I'm capable of handling.  I know the whole thing is very different from Starward, but still... I may as well offer.  I know I'm not exactly the most reliable person out there, but still, if you can think of anything, I'd love to help.  I owe you much, and I hate seeing you go through all this negative stuff.  So yeah, if there's anything you think I could do, let me know.   Not by email though, it's a horrid disaster.  I need a new one.


Also I apologize for not having been around the past couple of months myself.  The holiday season was a stressed-out frozen mess which I didn't handle very well, and then I was down south for the last month, just got back a couple days ago (airports totally suck, did you know that?).  I've barely been around anywhere on the Net other than Steam.


Anyway, I hope things get better for you from here on out.  We're all here for you though.

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Whatever happened to that Chris Park guy?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2019, 12:08:05 PM »
Similarly Chris, thank you as well for the opportunity you gave me. It means a lot, for reasons I don't want to explain in public.
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: Whatever happened to that Chris Park guy?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2019, 05:11:03 PM »
And we do care. We cheer for your games, but we got to know you also along the way, and I know I'm not alone in saying that we are wishing for your happiness and prosperity (for you and your family).

Sucks when a relationship becomes that weird detachment, where somewhere along the line things changed, and there's nothing that can be done to fix it. There are no guarantees, especially about other people's feelings. There is just trust and faith, and sometimes it's not enough. I've been on the receiving end. And then you look back, years later, and it becomes its own story. I never think of it as a waste. It just *was*, a good story for the time that it existed in. And then someday you find yourself in another good story, a stronger, better human than you were (hopefully). Like a broken bone that heals into a stronger bone.

I have been on this forum for years. Hope to enjoy many years ahead, with great games and stories. You are among friends here and people that are probably quite similar to you in many ways. Let's keep going forwards. Cheering for you.
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Offline zeusalmighty

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Re: Whatever happened to that Chris Park guy?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2019, 05:15:44 PM »
Hi Chris!

It's great to hear from you, albeit I wish it was under happier circumstances. You have a lot of people rooting for you, myself certainly included! 

It's important to have your priorities straightened out and I think you are doing just that. And hey! You have your health! (that was my fear I have to admit)


Offline steelwing

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Re: Whatever happened to that Chris Park guy?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2019, 11:58:32 AM »
Being a parent myself, I can firmly echo that there is no such thing as "half a dad".  That child will always think of you as Dad.  He may have other "father figures" in his life, but you are the one and only Dad, and there are no true substitutes.
Thank you for sharing.  I wish you (and Arcen) the very best of luck as you move on from this.  No matter how amicably you and your ex separated, each of you is (metaphorically) tearing off a piece of yourself.  The pain of that may not be physical, but it's very very real.

Offline x4000

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Re: Whatever happened to that Chris Park guy?
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2019, 12:33:12 PM »
Thanks, everybody -- it really means a lot, the support and words of encouragement.

...and from a practical sense, I know there's no such thing as half a dad.  I mean... I do get that, intellectually.  But I suppose where I come from with that sort of expression is that there are now some days where there's just not any dadding to be done. 

There was an old advertisement I remember seeing maybe 15 years ago, with a guy in his mid 30s with his infant daughter on his chest, laying there.  At the time it was something that hit me hard because we were pre-kids and both my ex and I were feeling the lack of kids in our life but weren't ready logistically and career-wise to have them.  So the advertisement kind of stuck around in my mind.

Later on I remember thinking of that ad with a variety of emotions.  Sometimes in a kind of happy sense, of "ah yes, I was a dad today" if I had some sort of triumph where I felt like I provided emotional support or something in a way nobody else could for my particular son.  Or in kind of a "eff you, ad," sense on days that were super hard particularly when he was really young and we were constantly sleep deprived and we couldn't figure out the infant reflux thing, etc.  Not that I ever really had illusions about dadding being a super easy thing, but the ad always seemed kind of saccharine in those contexts.

More recently that ad has been popping back into my head, because on days where I don't have custody, sometimes the ad pops into my head and I think "f no, I wasn't a dad today at all.  I didn't even see him."  My son doesn't like talking on the phone, and prefers to not really have contact with the parent who doesn't have custody at the time, and that's not really new since it also applied whenever my ex was traveling over the years and I had him solo.  He prefers to just see us when we get back.  And most days we do make sure that we both see him at least a bit, but on Saturday for instance that was about a 5 minute thing on my part.

So it's complicated, really.  My ex and I both try to play to what he needs and not introduce extra transitions or whatever, while at the same time both being available to him whenever he wants us.  So I'm not suggesting here that the setup is suboptimal from his perspective, we're basing it on what he wants and needs in the first place.  But because of his (understandable) preferences for not getting sad thinking about the absent parent and instead focusing on being in the moment with the parent he is with, that does mean that there are days in the latter half of the week where I go "yeah I wasn't a dad today."

Which is new.  Aside from a trio of trips with my ex without our son, and one trip she and he took without me, I haven't spent any nights away from him since he was born.  My ex travels for work, but I stopped doing that (except for PAX East 2012) since my son was born.

That's probably TMI, but basically that's where I come from with that.  It's more a personal thing than something that is actually negative for my son.  He has me whenever he needs me, and I know he'll never think of me as half a dad.  But it's a very odd thing to be sitting around on a given day and go "wait, I can just leave the house whenever I want, easily, and I don't have to check with anyone or arrange care or get him on board to come with or whatever?"  That untethered feeling is odd and in some ways the sort of freedom that parents all dream of, right?  Remember when you could just leave the house at will?  It's kind of cool.  Until you remember why.

Things will be okay, and mostly I'm feeling pretty cheerful about things.  There are a lot of positive prospects in my life these days, so who knows precisely what the future holds.  But for anyone wondering about the origin of that comment, "half a dad," that's where I'm coming from.

----

In other news, I have some paperwork to go through today (W2s and 1099s have to go out by the end of January, sigh), and then I'm taking off early to pick up my son from school and spend time with him since today IS one of my custody days, and so I won't have as much time as I'd hoped in order to accomplish creative work on AI War 2.  But I will have my decks nice and cleared for tomorrow, which is good.  I'm hoping to hit transports as one of the earlier items on my list, since I know people have been wanting those for a long time with this game and I had a good idea on how to implement them during my sabbatical.

----

Oh, and on the non-dad parts of the subject... again, all of that really means a lot, too.  I intend to be around here for a very long time, unless the market kicks me out.  And I've been really really glad to be able to have a positive impact on other folks, and Puffin and Misery I know what it means to you and it's one of the things that has meant a lot to me in my work, too.  Working with folks in your circumstances who would be wasted in so many other scenarios in life, but who do amazing work here, is something I'm really grateful I get to be a part of.  There's a lot I'm really grateful for, frankly.  I don't always keep that in sight as well as I should, but I try.

Thanks to everyone here for reminding me of the good things.  :)
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Whatever happened to that Chris Park guy?
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2019, 05:02:12 PM »
Thanks to everyone here for reminding me of the good things. 

That's what we're here for.  :)

Offline Dominus Arbitrationis

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Re: Whatever happened to that Chris Park guy?
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2019, 10:43:25 PM »
I also want to add to the chorus of thank you's, Chris. You gave me an amazing opportunity, one that I don't think I'll ever forget.

Further, I want to point out that I've loved working with every person on the Arcen team, from volunteers like Misery, Puffin, Badger, Craig, to staff like Blue, Cath, Erik, Keith, and, of course, you.

You guys have made this into an even better experience than I could have imagined, and that was no small feat.
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