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One game creator’s way to overcome depression? Make an uplifting game

The blinds are drawn. The room is dark and quiet. It’s past noon, and you’re still in bed. Your eyes are fixated on the carpet, bland and beige. The walls are white and bare, the furniture is hard and stiff. What is supposed to be a safe and comfortable space feels more like a prison—you are trapped. You haven’t showered yet, and your stomach reminds you that it needs attention. Your body is screaming at you to get up. Get out of bed. There’s work to be done. But moving is a chore. The signals that travelled to your brain are met with static. You remain curled in the fetal position, choosing instead to drown your conscious with re-runs of The Office on Netflix. As the upbeat piano of the theme song plays, you feel nothing.

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It can be incredibly difficult to pursue creative endeavors when depression gets in the way of productivity. Ciara, who creates pixel/voxel art and “tiny games” details the struggle in a recent Patreon post. She’s been developing a game called Voxel Bakery and posts updates frequently to her Patreon page. But her most recent post details the struggle of working while depression and anxiety are at play.

“tricks me into thinking everything I do is worthless”

I’ve been spinning my wheels big time with 3D game development. And a host of other pesky and depressing minor health problems hit me all at once,” Ciara wrote. “Not to mention, of course, depression and anxiety, which tricks me into thinking everything I do is worthless.” However, in response, Ciara’s solution is to start development on a game called Picky Pumpkins.

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You’ll play as LaLa, a “youngun tasked with collecting pumpkins from your grandmother’s community garden so she can make her award winning pumpkin pies!” Ciara’s drive to continue creating in order to combat the lows of mental health with such a cute and positive game premise is wonderful. Hopefully her persistence inspires others to continue against the odds too.

To see Ciara’s Patreon post on Picky Pumpkins and learn more about her work, click here.