Looking forward to 2021

You know the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people? Successful people have long-term goals. Unsuccessful people don’t.

“But what about Jim? He’s going great and is totally random.”

Congratulations guy. You found the exception to the rule.

I’m speaking generally. You’re always going to find that one guy who pulled a rabbit out of the hat.

The thing is, it doesn’t even matter what we’re talking about. You could be talking about a carpenter, a plumber, a car salesman, a civil engineer, an artist, a baker, or whatever. Successful people have long-term goals. And find a way to make them work.

You reverse engineer your future. You visualize what you want your future to be. And you do what you need to do to make that happen.

My plan

I know what I want out of 2021. I pushed the EP back a year because of simple numbers. Whereas I’m already quite profitable with my paintings, my music is a money pit.

Allie and Roxy are both happy. I give them a portion of my earnings now. They appreciate it. Well, I appreciate them. I wouldn’t be an artist without them pushing me. First Allie and later Roxy.

But music? The first EP cost me almost $10k and I sold about 30 of them for $5 each. Not one person bought my scores, which I’m bummed about. The best way to learn to compose is to dissect other people’s scores. That’s what I did with Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and everyone else I’m a huge fan of.

So no, no EP this year. The EP is entirely composed. Heck, I’ve even recorded half of it. No release though. I still have to hire a bunch of musicians and sound engineers to get it into an EP.

My biggest priority now is getting the game out the door. I already have game testers lined up. I even have it translated in one more language. I’d like to try to do Spanish myself but that’s if I have time to get around to that.

Second – have enough art for several more shows in 2021. That means a lot of hard work and a lot more sessions with Allie and Roxy.

Allie and Roxy
Allie and Roxy

I want to be a successful artist, composer, and game designer. So far, I’m only one of the three.

The game designer will more than likely leap the composer next year. I’ve gotten a lot more talk about my game than my music.

Does that hurt?

Of course it does! I’m human, not a robot.

But rather than dwell on that, I decided to prioritize what I have a better chance of succeeding with now. As we speak, my art is doing great. I’ve had buyers, including some who were thrilled to get it.

I’ve also had people willing to game test my game for free, provided I give them a free copy of the game. I know them personally so I know they’re the type of people who will give me a brutally honest review.

My game can’t just be a game you play once, say “that was fun,” and let collect dust. No. It has to be a game that people want to play over and over again.

How do I do that?

Once again, reverse engineering.

I take concepts from games I liked in the past. Agricola. Puerto Rico. Pandemic. Power Grid. Railways of the World. 7 Wonders.

Why do I like those games? Good question.

What parts of the games made them good? Better question.

Can I duplicate some of the best parts of those games and put them into my game? An even better question.

What’s wrong with the music?

I like my music. I’ve had others tell me it’s good.

But numbers, man. How do you recoup $10,000? By selling 2,000 EPs.

Let’s do the math. 30 sold. That leaves 1970 left.

Ouch!

Now, what happens if I sell 30 games?

Well, I don’t break even. But for one, the game is much cheaper to make. For another, it’s not a measly $5 profit per game like it is with an EP.

So it’s way easier to break even making a game than to make an EP.

And there, you have what’s wrong with music today. Sure, I could have used synths to cut costs and I could have done the mixing myself (it would have sounded like shit, but hey, I would have saved money). But, I got integrity. You’re getting real orchestral instruments and professional sound engineers, not an amateur like me.

But making a game on the other hand – you need an idea (I got plenty of those), an artist (hey! That’s me), and some play testers to iron out the kinks. Then you need someone else to assemble it.

Found that guy online. Hope he’s good.

And that, my friends, is why art is number one for 2021, game designing is number two, and music is number three. To be honest, I still can’t believe I’m even doing music and I haven’t taken all my guitars and smashed them to bits already. I probably should have done that ten years ago.

Oh, one more thing. I should have a collection of short stories ready too.

Roman

Composer. Fantasy Pinup Artist

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