Let me tell you one thing. If you have anxiety and depression issues, creating a massive amount of pressure on yourself by creating a money-drive to support your project is not a great idea. Expectations are high and the pressure to get it ‘right’ is immense. In many ways by creating the ImagiNation IndieGoGo drive I’ve made a rod for my own back, but I knew that going into it. Still, ‘the shit is real’ now the money’s raised and there’s a lot of expectation.
The Neverwhere Concern
I’m pretty intimately knowledgeable about Neverwhere and the concerns that Neil Gaiman and Lenny Henry had in putting it all together. There was a real concern about glamorising homelessness and making it seem cool or appealing to people. At the same time there was the desire to draw attention to homelessness and the issues surrounding it.
My concern is that I don’t want to glamorise mental illness but rather to foster understanding. I know there are people who view their mental issues in a positive light, but I’m not one of them and I don’t know that it would be fair to anyone to do it that way.
I want to show the bad side, but it is a positive within the context of the game. The mental issues are a price to be paid for the creative talent combined with the (relative) immunity to the psychic virus that allows them to operate on the mainland.
I think the system is accessible and easy enough for non-gamers to grasp relatively easily but I’m trying to gauge whether I should go for accessibility or usefulness. Even as a free game I don’t know if it is going to get any sort of penetration outside the gaming community, though it is my hope that it can reach beyond.
These are all difficult concerns and concepts to grapple with in putting this together and I would appreciate assistance and ideas from people who are invested in or following the project.