This is the english version of my original that post I put here.
There’s more than one reason why The Hum is extremely important to me. I consider it to be more than an idea or a story. The Hum means a lot to me. There’s a lot about myself that many of you don’t know – about obstacles I’ve had to overcome and illnesses I’ve recovered from. But you neither know how all of these issues have led me to create what it looks like as a simple alien horror game.
Even when it is a demanding task, making this videogame means a lot more to me than any other “simple videogame” that I could make. For that reason, today I’d like to share my tale with you. My story about how I became who I am today.
23 years ago I played a game that you may know. Its name’s Doom. I was 7 years of age at that time. I began to program when I was 2. I learnt to read at that age thanks to my father’s Spectrum ZX, which I still have (totally destroyed). When I was around 5 or 6 years old I was able to program in BASIC – I remember feeling frustrated since I never achieved the desired results. But I was happy. After spending many hours copying codes from a magazine I was able to compile them in order to play a game “I’d made with my own hands.”
I played DOOM on a computer that belonged to an acquaintance. I didn’t have my own PC, nor did I for many years. But I felt inspired enough to continue programming on paper and designing cartoons of my ideas. I was only 8 years old and I was writing my own stories about aliens, wars between different worlds and cultures in conflict which were “radically different” from our culture. I learnt that line (“radically different”) as a boy from the mouth of Captain Picard of Star Trek (broadcasted in Argentina by a local channel.)
My life was not easy as a child. I was at the mercy of a bipolar mother so creativity was my only refuge. I expressed it via game design and stories about “that super game I was going to create when I was the age 20”. I read a magazine at that time which included a story about two young guys called John Romero and John Carmack who had achieved amazing feats. They were like rock stars of video games and I couldn’t help dreaming to be like them one day.
My life turned around. My grandfather (who was like a father to me) died when I was 14. As a consequence, the situation at home became unbearable so I decided to leave. Then, it began a series of adventures (or maybe I should call them misadventures) that forced me to live in the street, to suffer hunger for months and to start to work young. I faced many problems, which I won’t fully describe, that made me become what I am now.
However, my health began to fail. At the age of 18 my body said “Enough!” and stopped moving, overwhelmed by pain. The only way doctors found to calm my pain was by sedating me, but even that way the pain wouldn’t disappear. But with the help of many people that accompanied me in life (Many people!) and with great effort, I‘ve managed to go on.
I used to feel envy for the people I saw complaining about their responsibilities. I used to think they were lucky enough to move and not to suffer constant pain. But as years passed by, I came to understand that this pain was part of my fate. It’s hard to explain how my health problems affect me in everyday life. Many people do not even seem to notice it. They see me at conferences, see me going to expositions, but, honestly, I have to admit that it’s hard for me to leave my home because of my condition. Making a cup of tea, going to the toilet and even typing represent and enormous effort. But I keep going on.
Every day my wife helps me to get up. First, she moves one of my paralyzed legs, then the other. She massages my arms and helps me to ease the pain of my teeth, eyes, head, back, and fingers. She pronounces words that no one else can tell me and reminds me that I can continue with all of this. We spend one or even two hours this way every day, until I can stand up and face my day.
I’ve never given up on my dream. Not even when I lived on the streets neither when my health failed me. And even when life has gifted me with lovely people, I‘ve also met those of the kind that like to express pessimistic ideas such as “Argentina’s not a country suitable to make videogames” or “You can barely move, how are you going to make it?”
I always tried my best. At the age of 22 I started working at the University buffet and on a cyber café after that. I suffered a lot at that time; I could barely walk and talk to people, trying my best not to pass out. But I felt I had to do it since I’d decided to keep going on…I would live to fulfill my dreams.
I got my own PC at 23. At that age I knew some programming stuff in Pascal, Basic and C which I’d learnt in using a computer that I shared with some people in the past.
I started working on computers, on systems and databases, with people who helped me and trusted on my knowledge. At that time, every day after coming back home, I spent hours and hours learning how to make games on Flash. Meanwhile, I tried to study at University (I started many courses of study, such as Astronomy, Physics and Psychology) and I became interested in Yoga and other similar spiritual practices that made my condition more bearable.
Some time passed and I decided to quit that job, even when I had reached a supervisor position that made me earn decent money and lead some teams. But I left. I wanted to work in a game company (There were quite a few at that time here in Argentina). I moved to the capital without a buck and I started to look for a job. In every interview, I had to do my best to hide my terrible discomfort and pain – many times I simply ran from the place, almost crying on frustration for my health. But fortunately, I started making games “professionally” in a studio I finally joined. Some of my colleagues at that company were friendly but there were others with who I couldn’t possible get on well with. I’m a weirdo. I’m someone who eats the unconventional to feel better as possible, who doesn’t go anywhere because of pain and who always wears an angry face. Yeah, people tend to see me as a weirdo.
My life experience has influenced my personality in many ways. But it has also taught me to look on the bright side. There has been and there will always be people full of prejudice who will judge me without knowing me and my “misadventures”. “Ladran Sancho”.
The Hum is more than a game to me. It’s the result of 20 years of hard work. It’s what makes me feel that my life actually means something. Anytime I was sleeping in the streets or looking for a doctor that could ease my pain I would think to me “My dream will come true.” I always thought “I’ll do it”. I lost some people that I really loved. Every time things seemed to be getting brighter, a new obstacle appeared: a death, a break up with someone I loved, a financial crisis… But I feel I’ve always done my best to get stronger – I’ve always looked ahead.
Today I’m making two of my dreams come true: creating my own game and having a family. Years ago I never would have thought it to be possible. Taking into account my condition, my health and my “shitty complications”, having children was not an option for me. Making games, traveling to another country and talking to people were hard too.
Obstacles haven’t changed much but I’ve grown up. My daughter’s coming soon and I feel the most beautiful sensation one can possibly imagine. I’m going to keep going on the way I’ve done it all my life, just for her. And even when it’s hard to get up every day, she‘s chosen me as a father so I can only make the effort for here.
The Hum is more than a game to me – It’s a story to tell. It’s the way I have to express many things. I’ve been creating The Hum’s universe since I was a child and it’s been changing and expanding endlessly since then. I gave a name to my disease. I call it “The Beast”. In a way, The Hum‘s part of that beast but it’s also my way to tame it, to control it.
There’s still a lot to be done in order to improve The Hum. It certainly requires a huge effort but making an endeavor it’s something I’m not afraid of. Sooner or later, you’ll be getting your hands on this game and on many other games I’ll hopefully be making in the future! I am really grateful for all your comments praising and supporting The Hum. Every “good work” is worth thousands for me and every review is a door to further improvement.
I can’t close this thread without telling you never to give up on your dreams. Don’t be fooled – Life is not easy but it can be compared to a videogame: if you play it on easy, you’ll get easily bored! All great achievements require making an effort and you’ll definitely enjoy it better that way. There’s always a new opportunity and you can always make It better. Never give up.