Happy Holidays…with a slight delay. It’s the intent that matters, right? More seriously though, it’s high time to do the traditional look back on Träumendes Mädchen’s activities
2021: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
I’m not even going to pretend and try to preserve the surprise: 2021 has been a disastrous year, largely because of my health issues.
I should have seen it coming when reddish marks started to cover my whole body mere hours after New Year’s Eve (probably due to a pityriasis rosea type of skin rash). I had to hide away for almost 2 months, itching like crazy, waiting for the lesions to disappear.
After that, what did I get? 4 months of peace? Just enough time to finish the first two ending of Chronotopia: Second Skin (Nahima’s and Médeia’s). Foolishly, I thought that, finally, I was almost there, that the last ending would follow suit and that I would be able to release this bloody game. I even created a Steam page to allow people to wishlist Chronotopia and try to rebuild some hype. I had just received my second vaccine shot in early July so I was rather confident in my capacities… Three days later I had caught Covid.
I was already devastated by this turn of events that was ruining my efforts but I was clearly unpreprared for what would come. The media coverage of the pandemic let you believe that there are only two possible outcomes should you be contaminated: a dramatic hospitalization or a mere cold. This is a very flawed perception of reality. My Covid was mild, so mild in fact that I never managed to test positive. I spent 2 weeks bedridden, not at death’s door, but very ill. Then, everything went back to normal, right? Right?
The months following the infection were worse than the infection itself. I was greatly diminished but optimistic, believing that I was simply recovering very slowly…until I had a relapse in September. It was when I understood that I had become a zombie, a husk, exhausted at all times, unable to do anything of my days. It was psychologically painful for me to admit that it could be long COVID and that physicians might not be able to help me. The energy I had left I would spend it on going back on forth between the doctor and the laboratory, the laboratory and a new specialist. The two specialists I saw would incidentally not believe me because of my negative results and even told me I should refer to a psychiatrist instead (for untreated depression). I had hit rock bottom.
Then, against all odds, my symptoms disappeared in early November. Honestly I have yet to fully realize how lucky I was to recover when some are still fighting long Covid. Just goes to show you how dangerous the virus truly is…
Despite my very relative good luck, the fact remains that the delay incurred on Chronotopia as a result is huge. About 4 months of work thrown away instead of making progress on the last ending. And I’m not even mentioning the Steam Edition of Wounded by Words which I could not touch…
I usually forget my woes by collaborating on projects that aren’t mine. And I was indeed hired in 2021 to assist devs on quite promising visual novel! Unfortunately, it would seem that the leaders involved might have brought me aboard a bit too prematurely, so I feel like I’m just part of the decoration for now. I hope development will start in earnest in 2022!
There is a notable exception: Our Life. Ever since the game’s release in 2020, I’ve been regularly helping out GB Patch Games with additional content. Thus I worked on the Step 3 expansion (April), the free epilogue (September), and the Wedding DLC should happen soon since I’m finishing the last few files. It’s not every day I can join a project that’s constantly involving, needless to say that I find that extremely interesting!
2022: [File not found]
I could have concluded this review on a somewhat optimistic note but it so happens that 2021 is allowing me absolutely no respite. That’s how I was gifted a finger infection for Christmas! How can I tell you that my psychological fatigue is too strong for me to express anything else? Stressing that I’m fed up is quite the understatement so my expectations for 2022 are abysmally low…
That being said, Chronotopia: Second Skin’s Bear Ending is already well underway and I intend to finally publish the two missing spotlights on the devblog. Changes in the way I manage Träumendes Madchen will also be needed but I’d rather explain that once the game is released.
Once again, take care of yourself and your loved ones.