LeonieWrites about GCAP2023 (Days 1 & 2) – vlog & blog ramble!

LeonieWrites about GCAP2023: Days 1 & 2! (4.5min)

Watch/read my quiet GCAP2023 / GCAP23 vlog & blog when you have the headspace – no rush!

Thanks to the small handful of you if I did see/wave/chat with you! 💕

Take care this busy week! 😊
For me MIGW is over & I’m in hermit recovery mode! 🐢💤
I’m pooped but shall be peeping for the award results though :0

Leonie Rambles a lot because she can’t help it

Okay recap what I posted on social media:

I’m leaving early at least so maybe/not hello?
If it’s not 1 to 1 I’ll probably go into quiet, deadpan conservation mode due to my limited energy :0
After this year I’m not sure if I should go again given how crowded it will be eep!!
I take screenshots since I don’t want to depend on social media ;P Tweet version
I deleted my Youtube post because I got tumbleweeds there and lost 2 subscribers

so whelp people don’t like my blog posts here haha :’)

*as in I haven’t done industry/any socialising since 2019
My post from Monday/Day 1’s night here for prosperity

Talks I went to with links & artists:

Day 2:

I used to do vlogs/travel diaries during games events like GCAP / MIGW here but it was terribly time consuming, draining & intense to make them (playlist): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnFkfmo596ziGS56fMPXf6vwQKO0GU1aq

I stopped during the year I did my conference talks – I burnt out wayyy too much and I couldn’t anymore.
But then again I burn out/drain myself every time at events or social things :’)

Here are my old & embarrassing NZGDC2017 / GCAP2017 game conference talks: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnFkfmo596zg_b5noP7sd_6ycWzAj8FX9

More updated Leonie rambles

(assuming you watched my video):

First up: much thanks to my company Hipster Whale for letting me go! And that I got to see/wave at coworkers (and ex coworkers) in person finally and after many years! :0

Okay random thoughts:

  • I was/am tense in crowds – when people exit out of talks the waves of people + increasing noise gets too much
  • when some peeps saw that I wore a face mask they were kind & respectful about it! Well for the people I waved at/talked to at least ;P
  • I had to rush back/walk/train/bus/walk back on my own for close to 2 hours so that wasn’t fun
    • it gets worse for me with transport if I do night time things, I’d struggle to get back home with no time to unwind so I generally avoid night time events ;P
    • all the other social events are at night and I am not bothered and won’t be close by for those!
    • no I can’t afford nor be bothered for a hotel room just for games week – just one day was draining ;P
  • I was fighting to not fall asleep and only drank tea in the morning for both days
  • I’m so glad my knees are okay aside from random brief aches – I walked a lot, relative for me :’)
  • I am not comfortable with drinking culture so I’m glad there’s at least one-two non alcoholic events! I didn’t go to any of them though haha
  • lots of other familiar peeps are not doing GCAP (it’s not cheap!!) and doing the other social things instead so I won’t see them I guess :’)
  • I did RAT tests at the end of each day just to make sure
  • I had to go with the flow and not expect 1 to 1 chats with people
    • naturally is best – as much as I want to “make the most of things” and feel guilty about it often
    • I can’t hold on to a conversation for too long either (no energy and no brain power to keep it going)
    • it does feel inefficient for me walking around, around and around through crowds just to look for a rare person who would also wave back to indicate interest to talk and not be in an engaged social group already :’)
  • definitely it’s my rejection sensitivity at max levels yes where I assume people are ignoring/forgetting/disinterested/rejecting me until it’s not subtle/vague/shifty/confusing anymore
    • I know assuming the worst is terrible (thanks to the life of being a scapegoat) and I’ll try to manage it into a more neutral position
    • the reality is…my gut reaction is flight mode haha
    • that I fluctuate between too hopeful and too disappointed/jaded/conflicted when I should be focusing on figuring out ways to enjoy myself and not worry about whether I connect with people who usually end up indifferent/incompatible/distant with me nor care for my existence because they have their own groups & adventures (or they’re simply not people I should care about) :’)
    • it’s conflicting also when peeps I know hang out fine/great with them…that’s how things be!
    • I’m writing this out to reflect & remind myself as always. I need an outlet here too haha
  • I guess the more efficient way is to set up meetings/catch ups outside of GCAP or during the meet to match business thing but it’s not a thing for me because people are busy, not that interested, my conversations aren’t long enough and I’m no good at 1 to 1 catch ups especially when it’s someone I don’t know too well nor are in my life :’)
    • so all I can do is just brief social interactions (if I’m lucky) and not hang around too long in social groups because I am already drained around many people (it’s not really a situation where I can talk too much) and don’t want to get carried away with the crowd/group into a bar at night anymore
    • when you see a lot of people already engaged in conversation I usually give up, I don’t want to hover around either (I’m not entitled to anyone’s time after all) and so it doesn’t happen ;’P
    • at least I can walk around and keep awake haha
  • and there’s plenty of peeps & artists I’m aware of but we’ve never spoken much because I’m not conversational at these events, they’re always surrounded in friend groups, they’re/I’m not mutually interested and/or we couldn’t connect with things in common
    • it’s a lot of overthinking here, I know!
    • I don’t have a solution for this because attempting to join an existing friend group is too overwhelming, I get non verbal, energy is depleting further and I can’t fit in – it usually and understandably ends with them distancing themselves away from me since I’m not a memorable existence in this situation as a quiet follower oof
      • or I distance myself first when/before it gets too much :’)
      • I don’t want to stay in a group for too long – it’s safe in that I don’t have to walk/search around for people in the moment at least
  • I wasn’t fully functional both days anyway as I drifted around the conference – this is a huge leap already for homebody me haha
  • not used to people seeking me out hoping to hustle/get connections/transactional all over again and I feel uncomfortable. At the same time I’ve definitely been there and I don’t blame anyone!
    • I’m just not the person to ask about it, especially on the spot
    • also finding that I’m being treated like I was an art director or lead (just people trying to join the industry to be fair) when I’m not even working at that capacity – please seek out art directors/leads who inspire you and who can articulate feedback verbally super well! I need to redirect people better :’)
    • I’m a slow artist who takes time to process things and types things out so it’s probably better to comment/email me instead once I get to know you better that is or probably allow me enough time to think on the spot is better :’)
    • oh and there’s definitely times where people don’t know or care who I am – once introduced they’re going to forget/move on and that’s how it is because I’ve done it too (plus I’m not a speaker/art director/influential person) ;P
      • I can’t know/remember/get interested in everyone either; it’s overwhelming!
      • I draw a blank when I don’t know someone so :’)
  • oh yeah I always have my share: eye contact and then moving on and/or awkwardly avoiding (my flight mode activates) with people I’m not comfortable/sure/conflicted with and people who have ignored me before (because I get petty ;P )
  • there’s also big brain people/artists who talk about topics and things that I can’t discuss on a mutual level or I can’t match their levels of higher energy or we’re just not connecting/interested
    • I’m too quiet, slow, boring and low energy for most people so yes this has always been an uphill battle :’)
    • sometimes it’s just awareness of each other but lacking interest/capacity/energy to actually talk haha
    • always reminding myself that I can’t be friends with everyone if it’s not mutual and the interest isn’t there…ouch all the same haha
  • and how I don’t have a 1 to 1 conference buddy system to go home to and just care/update/vent with each other how we’re going 🙁
    • silver lining is that we all have agency to do our own thing!
    • It’s just a nice to have in the end; a lot of people are drifting around too :0

Thank you so much once again to those who I actually got to do varying levels of 1 to 1 chats with, who kindly included me to talk a bit when we were in a group (I awkwardly tried but I’m not good at speaking/giving advice on the spot when I slowly process things) & people who said hi and kept things short, polite and sweet too*! Thank youuuu

* sometimes it’s too overwhelming and/or there’s no mutual interest so at least we’re not pretending with small talk? Yes I’m trying to reframe and rationalise to make myself feel better ;P

Don’t know if I want to go to GCAP itself again next year.

I guess it depends on the talks next year? I don’t know. It is a bit more positive than what I last remembered/experienced.

Had both positive and meh/negative social experiences. Past experiences are kind of coming back to me and I feel conflicted in many ways. Some things have changed and some haven’t. Time has made it more hazy but negative/hurt feelings resurface and it’s not fun trying to move past it.

Anyhoo it’s really a mixed bag because most of the other social events are even more out of my comfort zone, I want to go home before nighttime to decompress and recover and I can’t deal with crowded, noisy social, overstimulating environments if I can help it. I’ve tried and cried about it in a lot of my early GCAP years and feeling abandoned/rejected/lonely so no thanks for me.

It’s not worth pushing myself when I’m not functioning anymore and to the point of being emotionally upset, sensitive and increasingly lonely in these social situations. One must take care of themselves because no one else knows as well as you do! Well not that I’m too sure…

For me it was after much trial, error and phases of denial and ignorance about my autism, neurodivergence and personal limits :’) I’m still guessing here – I don’t fully know my limits until I feel like falling asleep so whoops!

I’m glad I left the conference even though it could be earlier – I was already past my limit, sleepy, feeling out of it and tired. Back then I used to continually ignore this because of the fear of missing out. Now it’s “stuff that”!!

I still can’t believe I started in August 2014 in the games industry with my first freelance marketing illustration for a game that never finished beyond demos. I did do other freelance work since June 2014 but one was for character illustration and character design for a few pages of a character design challenge/feature/kickstarter book and another was a bunch of illustrations and character designs for a secret TV show pitch.

Anyhoo please take care … I need sleep now. Why Leonie.

I spent late into the morning (4:30am) making this whoops

Okay I won’t be able to respond/function too much today I’m out completely!

I’m sure everyone is busy with their own adventures too.

I hope the things I write make sense! I am terribly pooped.

Good night, I mean morning??? haha

I‘m proofreading this so much the next day haha Okay I’m stopping now! I need to walk away from adding to this with my mixed feelings as an overthinking homebody!

I blogged more about GCAP and feelings a week later here.