Dream Chasers v1.0

[Ed. Note] This article was written by Game Creator’s Vault founder and video-game industry professional Mark Soderwall.

Mark Soderwall speaking at the University of California Irvine.

A fairly common question I get asked after lectures and presentations I give on game-design best practices is How to stay so passionate or positive in an industry that usually presents dream chasers more closed doors than open. Do I take Zoloft, or is my ignorance really  bliss?


Absolutely NOT!

My excitement and head-down resolve stem from not only my industry experiences working in both large AAA and small Indie studios, which helped me to better appreciate the reward of it all, but also in the understanding of how I can get paid in doing something I’d otherwise be creating in my own free time!

Like anything worth fighting for, getting into the game-dev industry is just that, a fight.

Trying to invent new ways of staying positive every day through the relentless portfolio updating, rejection letters (yes, even professionals get them), hours of researching studios hiring and self-publishing developments is always a great challenge. However, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and better prepares you for the next round of challenges!

Persistence is the key ingredient as well as timing in realizing opportunity. The day you blink your eyes open in the morning and choose to stay in bed is the day an opportunity may slip past you.

Every day is an opportunity to win, as well as lose. It’s in the losing, though, that (most of the time) your character and resolve get tested and your ability to overcome adversity grows.

Continue to fight and muster up the resolve to constantly plow through the hard experiences of the day! Understand that your next opportunity may be waiting just around the corner, even if that corner takes days, weeks or even many months to round. Just don’t give up, don’t give in! The moment you settle for mediocrity is the moment life grabs you by the throat, wrestles you to the ground and sits its fat @ss on your chest! Fight through it and understand that while it may be a challenge, your character, portfolio and resolve will grow more competitive if you choose not to throw in the towel or tap out.

I understand that this sounds like a motivational speech. That’s good! Sometimes we need to hear a good speech to warm up our heart and steady our resolve after it has grown cold in a wasteland of frustration and self doubt.

Mark lectures at an industry conference on game-development best practices.

The greatest thing to appreciate is that it’s always a choice. You get to make one every day, for better or for worse. It’s up to you. So what are you going to choose today?


As always, I, along with others, are here to help mentor and encourage you with our experiences, insights, best practices and networks.

If you really need advice or a good sock in the arm to you shake off your frustration, email me and I’ll walk you through it!

Remember, it’s not only your talent and resolve that gets you over the next hurdle and into success, but the relationships and networks you foster today and tomorrow that you’ll take with you through your next challenge and career pursuits. You’re never alone, or at least you shouldn’t be!