@sinusoidal: As someone with an intimate knowledge of disability benefits in Canada, let me just say that being diagnosed with clinical depression generally isn't enough.
Zvarri's forum posts
@project343: Sorry for not responding sooner. It is absolutely a combination of the two. I'm a terrible artist, and I made the art for the game first, using a drawing tablet. I somehow found the right settings to get these really janky lines that worked well with my general inability to draw well. I thought it well resembled a twisted, ugly version of my workplace, so I ran with it.
@ElleLenore: You really should! Especially since it is a free browser game that doesn't take too long to experience.
@scottygrayskull: I definitely knew there could be repercussions. Technically, I should have submitted the game to management for their own review, where they likely would have requested an utter sanitization of the game, or simply denied me from releasing it at all. I wasn't going to let the Agency stand between me and the game I had made.
There were a lot of potential repercussions I considered, from verbal & written warnings, to being told to take the game down. Termination was a possibility, but not one I considered to be that likely. I was certainly wrong about that.
So, overall, their reaction wasn't a huge surprise. The severity of their reaction was a bit of a shock, but I always knew this could happen. I even said as much to Patrick, and this is reflected in his article.
@CobraCalling: The game is Windows-only, but part of the package you get when you buy it is a .swf file containing the game that will run in a browser. Some Mac users have gotten the game to run that way.
An actual Mac version is at the top of my priority list. Demand for it has been high.
Consider that the term "shipped", which originates from the retail sense of releasing a game by shipping physical copies out to retailers, continues to be used for digital-only games with no physical presence.
Therefore, I shipped I Get This Call Every Day on December 21st, 2012.
@Laivasse: I'm glad you brought up your aunt. I used to get a lot of calls from elderly people, disabled people, desperate people. Sometimes there would be devastating situations for which I could offer no help - what do you say to the senior citizen who has a tax bill larger than what she received in a year from her pension? What do you say to the mother who is about to be evicted, who won't be getting her child benefits because of an address error?
I am a helpful person by nature. I want to help people. When I got these calls, I did the best that I could. Oftentimes, the laws surrounding confidentiality, or the ways in which internal processes worked, prevented me from being able to help:
"I'm afraid I can't help you fix your brother's tax credit issue (even though I know it is simple) because we have nothing on file to show you, his sister, is his legal representative - and I understand that your brother is vegetative, and he cannot grant you power of attorney, but we don't have any process to handle that kind of situation."
That's an example of a call I received last week. They didn't always happen often, but they did happen. I would explore every available option, consult with my manager and resource officers, do anything I could to find solutions. Sometimes, I could help. Many times, I could not, and every time that happened, I felt like the biggest pile of shit. When you see me referring to my job in interviews as "making me less human", these calls are what I am talking about. These calls are not represented in I Get This Call Every Day. I don't think I could make a game about them without being very specific, without retelling some of the very true stories I have encountered.
I'm sorry that I Get This Call Every Day doesn't reflect what your aunt had to go through. I never meant for it to demean or belittle the callers. I do think your aunt's situation is significant, and I urge you to make a game about it. For me, her experience isn't personal - but for you it is, which makes you perfectly equipped to tell it. I don't care if you've never made a game before; there are tools like Construct 2, Twine, Gamemaker, etc that are easy to use for your first time. Make something personal, whether it is about your aunt, yourself, your job, anything. Express it with a game. Please.