Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Start of Something New: A Far-off Daydream

Did I just quote High School Musical in the title of this post? That film had a charm to it anyway, I will stand by it.

So this really is the start of something new. I registered a website ( and finally decided on the colours for my logo (okay, I may yet revise it, but this is the third iteration already and I ought to learn to leave well enough alone sometime). Just look at those rays of blue light illuminating a bright new future. An inviting glimmer of hope from beyond the distant clouds raining down upon us. Oh, what will tomorrow bring? Who can say, but don't stop dreaming!

I don't feel like fully introducing myself in this post, I'll leave that for later, but my name is Leonid Pilchin (@LeonDaydreamer) - artist, animator, writer. I have worked in the animation industry for nearly 10 years, that is working on other people's stories and projects, mostly television cartoons. I happen to believe that I have some really good story ideas myself, and my standards are quite high. For the past few years I continued to feel this never quite satisfied urge to actually do it. To tell my own stories, build the plot, characters, relationships, suspense, drama, comedy, from the ground up, really put my soul into it and create something that I can be proud of.

For the longest time I didn't even know where to begin, my ideas were so huge and epic I would get overwhelmed just thinking about them. Somehow, I stumbled upon Twine a couple of years back, it is a very intuitive and simple to use program to create text-based interactive fiction. After a little experimentation, I picked it up and impulsively began writing a text-based adventure game, Back To Reality; which I have been taking a hiatus from to work on Put A Sock In It! At any rate, I surprised myself with the quality of my writing, and the characters I was able to put together. Before I knew it, I had an interactive game with conversations and puzzles to solve. And it is so instantaneous with Twine, you just write it into the program and it is already playable. It was very liberating not having to worry about spending weeks and months on character designs, background artwork, even user interface, you have a playable prototype almost as quickly as you can think of it. I was amazed and it was quite addictive for once actually sitting down and telling my own story from beginning to end without having to worry about all those things I would otherwise get overwhelmed about. I have other feelings about the experience, but I will leave that for another post as well.

Right now, I feel like I am taking a big step. I was looking at a fork in the road for the longest time and I wasn't sure if I should go back to the animation studio environment where it is safe and you know where your next paycheck is coming from, or stay on this path I have been exploring for the past couple of years and seeing where it leads me. All I know is that I never felt as fulfilled working on other people's scripts, with other people's designs, and off of other people's storyboards, telling stories the way they have been planned out long before they even reach me, as I have creating my own. I can think of few things more important than that. So for now, I will follow those bright blue rays of light and daydream about how they will bring me to where I really want to be. I'll let you know how it goes.