A Story About Coffee

I have a story about game development, but before I can tell you that story, I must tell you this story.

A couple of months ago my girlfriend and I went camping on Lake Michigan. I had packed up a bunch of food - probably too much - including a tiny electric kettle and a jar of instant coffee. On our first morning, I crawled out of our tent into the cold and started making coffee as soon as possible. We each had a cup, and the second I tasted it, I became nostalgic. Not just like, a fond feeling, but physically nostalgic, like the memories were glowing in my head.

The last time I had had instant coffee, it was back as a student in college. I had a habit of ending up in computer labs late at night or early in the morning, working on little video games for game jams. Game jams are group events where small teams try to create a video game in 48 hours. This usually means a couple very long days working quickly, messily, recklessly, and coffee is often a key component (although people love their energy drinks, too). The result is a cool tiny game that makes your friends smile for a few minutes, and a bright spark of pride.

Game jams also often lead to a lot of camaraderie, of course! It's hard not to become friends or at least share a little smile with your teammates in such a blitz of cooperation. The instant coffee reminded me of those times, and especially my friend Kyle, who was a partner on these jams more often than not. We're still close and like to bounce game ideas off of each other, even though he works full-time and I - certainly foolishly - work on games alone.

I've had a little ritual of brewing coffee in the mornings for the last decade or so. But now I keep a big jar of instant coffee around, just in case I really want to go back to that time, and maybe get a little reckless inspiration ♥