Forgive the phrasing as it's something I'd normally not say unless in tongue-in-cheek because saying it seriously is a hallmark of arrogance, but I can't think of a better phrase to describe the issue:
"It's not every day you have a stroke of genius."
I don't want to call myself a genius because of how presumptuous that'd be. BUT. I think you can at least understand my sentiment here, what I'm going for.
It is not every day that you come up with a great idea.
It is not every day that you come up with an idea which is amazing.
I know I am a very creative person, who builds grand worlds. The World of Soano (The Descended's setting) is one of my favorite places. The Rubyverse is a conglomeration of my work across the years and takes the best of everything put into one place.
Heroes of Gistou takes what is perhaps the greatest achievement I've ever had as a writer and is a conglomeration of all my years of work as a writer; in the original mafia game I wrote the flavor for it was ambitious enough but as a novel which took things even further, it has literally every skill I've ever used in any of my stories ever in one place, while adding elements I've never used before including diversity in gender/sexual orientation (okay so that's touched on very lightly in one other story but only barely), racism, and hair/eye/skin color and whatnot.
It is basically my crowning achievement as a writer because the characters are humans I know (okay so to be fair, this was a bit of a cheat because when writing their characters some influence from the players who were assigned those roles leaked in), the setting is one of the most intricate ones I've built, the plot is one of my favorite stories, and the quality of the writing is the highest I've ever done; there's nothing to top it.
Though, coming close would be the other novel I was working on when my flashdrive failed and caused me to lose literally years' worth of work. (Still bitter about that, but if you're wondering, probably wouldn't work on my novel if I had the information, anyway. I'd back the information up, but my mood to work on the novel was utterly killed and having the flashdrive back and functioning wouldn't magically revitalize it.)
It is, in many ways, similar to Gistou in that it is the other story which touches on sexual orientation (albeit not gender orientation), and in some ways it actually is more of a statement. Some things which we might think are very unprogressive are shown even from the main characters...but this is more or less commented on in the book and you can tell that it is a deliberate narrative choice. (At least if I competently write that is.)
Racial divide, philosophy, the nature of war, the nature of fate/destiny, discrimination, eugenics of a sort (something I don't think I ever actually wrote down was a minor revision to dialog at one point where the protagonist notes that while there are 10,000 humans left alive, only about 4,000 of them are pureblooded humans with no genes from the other species which is closely enough related to humanity that they can have fertile hybrid children and said hybrid children's descendants account for the other 6,000 and the protagonist believes that in order to survive humanity needs that genetic diversity since humanity's gene pool is dangerously small; even his ancestors had a first cousin marriage).
It just touches on a lot of things, with some of the most powerful writing I've ever done, a full cast of characters who are actual CHARACTERS. They don't just have quirks. They have flaws. Most of my characters, well, they might have flaws but they don't get displayed in my writing. It's a bit of a weak spot in my writing; when I write characters, they don't tend to fail, they don't tend to have shortcomings, they don't tend to be in the wrong, and so on and so forth.
This story has all of that. And the question, of course, of "am I really in the right?", with ambiguous answers, rather than clear-cut ones. People. More than any other story, maybe even more than Gistou, people. Yet the world has a beautiful history to it and the plot progresses in this altogether philosophical way, where action is happening and yet you still get these little moments to know everyone.
The Perfect RPG for me is a setting I might have slightly tabled in favor of other projects, but I am still passionate about it because I really like what I made there.
I still want to make the Disneyesque Villain Song setting. I've toyed with various expansions, from extra characters (the protagonist, the seer, the love interest, the best friend of the protagonist, a cool old guy, and of course the villain among many others), how the beginning of the story unfolds, how the protagonist meets the love interest, how the story ends, and little things here and there including that the villain would be almost by-the-book following the evil overlord list (with some liberties taken here and there).
It is a wondrous, beautiful thing, envisioned as a film but also suitable for a miniseries. Probably not a full series, but could be done I suppose with tweaking.
And then there's the two most recent.
Phyrra and Cyrus.
And Dawn of Order.
I am passionate about them all.
Yet those ones really speak to me as, so to speak, "genius among the genius". Or rather. "This is the perfect balance of something which can actually be done (and is thus, pragmatic to do), and yet is something which is still grand enough to be ambitious, reach the masses, and inspire greatness", more or less.
Phyrra and Cyrus, and Dawn of Order, are both outside of my general comfort zone. I am a writer first and foremost. I am secondarily an artist. While those are used in animation and games, they are not at the forefront of them. Both have incredible ambition behind them, both have incredible ideas which make them truly unique and original, and yet because of what they are, are something which can be spread to the masses fairly easily and readily once made.
And more than that. I feel that they can actually be done. Not by me, alone, yes. But they can be DONE.
One of the reasons The Descended may never get off its feet is because it feels like a project which needs to be done entirely by me, but yet the scale of the project is such that while it's incredibly ambitious I'm probably never going to be able to complete it in my lifetime just as me alone.
Aside from how I've lost the art and scripts I've had multiple times, aside from how the site is (pardon the language) a clusterfuck and yet I have a strong desire to not nuke it and start from scratch. Aside from that. To tell the story I want to tell, I need to produce high-quality, almost professional art. Yet there's a ton of content for the story. I've forgotten a fair amount and with no usable notes that content is lost forever but even with it removed (or magically recovered).
The story isn't short. Compared to Red Hood Rider, yeah, it's short. But it's still something which if I were updating daily would take years of my life to complete and updating at a rate slower than daily would take...well. Longer than a human lifespan, honestly.
Speaking of Red Hood Rider. What I just said about The Descended applies to it, too. Red Hood Rider, being a project which is mine. Just feels like something which should be done by me. I have also lost many notes of mine on the subject and what I have is chaotic, jumbled, scattered. Yet new content keeps being added even to this day, and content gets revised. And it's estimated to be about 80-100 episodes worth of content.
Each episode with 20-40 pages.
If that were daily updates that'd be potentially 4,000 pages. You know how many years that is? Ten. If I were releasing daily pages it would take ten years to complete Red Hood Rider. Now imagine less than daily. And knowing that the quality of art demanded for the project is even higher than that of The Descended, because Red Hood Rider is meant to be something which could be adapted into an animation (which is why chapters are called episodes).
My novels are, obviously. Personal projects. Can't outsource writing. Well, you could I suppose but heck no that's not something I'd do. So it'd have to be me doing them, by myself, alone.
All of them, I can reach out to others of course. Get a novel published, I can communicate to my readers. Start updating a webcomic, I can have dialog with my readers actively on a daily basis. But there's something in that which feels missing, actually.
And that is something not missing when I think of Phyrra and Cyrus especially, although also recently Dawn of Order.
Because on those. I would be creating my visions, but I'd be working with others, collaborating with them to bring what I envisioned to life. It would be my project, it would be personal, but it would have the touch of others on it as well and that would be a good thing. For The Descended, Red Hood Rider, and my novels, the thought of the touch of others on it feels WRONG.
But because it is literally a requirement for Phyrra and Cyrus (given voice acting) and Dawn of Order, it feels right. It feels good. The thought that I'd have it.
I'm not sure I'm presenting a very coherent thought here on what I am getting at.
What I am getting at is that many of my projects, I feel are personal projects.
Yet when it comes to a project like Phyrra and Cyrus.
What makes them strokes of genius.
Is that they are something which aren't personal projects. Yet in spite of not being personal projects. They feel like they are realistically achievable. I don't think anything I've envisioned in them is impossible, unreasonable, or really that hard to achieve if I really set my mind to it.
And I just.
Really, really like thinking about them.
And that's where the depression comes in--when I can't think of them, as it were.
Or rather. "I have thought of this great idea. Why am I not thinking of something just as good, or doing something just as good?"
By that, I mean.
Anything I do, I feel like it's less than what I could be doing.
I pretty much stopped playing Final Fantasy VII once I started envisioning the perfect RPG.
And now there's something similar for Majesty, Zeus/Poseidon, and the like.
Where I have envisioned a really cool game, Dawn of Order. Which I want to be playing, or at least designing. Rather than playing those games.
And any other game just feels...lesser than those, because those are some of my favorite games after all.
And there's something similar for Phyrra and Cyrus.
I've pretty much stopped rehashing most of my ideas (aside from the villain song one which is alive and well) since starting it. And when I think about them. I just. Want the moments I envision to be real.
I've even mapped out exactly how I could do it, too. The things I ask for, most I know explicitly can already be done because I have seen them done. And if I've seen them done, then it is possible for them to be done on my project. (For reference, this is also true of Dawn of Order. I don't think anything I describe is impossible, not even when putting it all together, because every element I describe exists in one of the games I was inspired by, and while I know code isn't exactly directly transferable, it'd be possible to more or less manage it if you were a competent coder familiar with the inspiration and knowing the intended result.)
If I could, for instance. I'm like 97% sure that Phyrra and Cyrus could be hosted on ComicFury. Yes, it's a comic site, yes, Phyrra and Cyrus is an animation, but I am almost absolutely positive (thus the 97%) that a "comic" can be a video.
Specifically. A video which doesn't autoplay, which you hit play in order to play, and which has both animation and audio. There is a file format which allows that. Well, multiple file formats. But I am positive one of said file formats, ComicFury supports for comics, and thus, it would be potentially possible to upload an entire episode. (Might run afoul of the size limitation to uploads but I'm sure there'd be a workaround for that.)
If that were possible, then from there it'd be easy.
Each comic (except fillers in the form of character art or worldbuilding concepts) would be an episode.
The most iffy thing I'd want would be the ability to make a video fullscreen; I'm less than positive that'd be possible.
But I'd want a home page with disqus comments that'd display the latest episode and latest blog (easily done), the ability to leave disqus comments on every blog post (easily done), maybe disqus comments on some extra pages (easily done), and then for the comments on every comic...
Disqus comments displaying on top and ComicFury comments also displaying below Disqus as the default (seen it done so it can be done),
With the option to alternatively have ComicFury comments on top and Disqus comments below,
And the option to hide ComicFury comments (seen it done so it can be done),
And the option to hide Disqus comments (seen it done so it can be done),
And the option to hide both comments,
And the ability to save preference for comment display (the above options) between both pages page to page and visits visit to visit (meaning not needing to manually click the preferred option each time; pretty sure this can be done),
And Disqus comments linked to every site I host Phyrra and Cyrus on with Disqus (seen it done so it can be done).
Optionally, with a domain purchased and used.
Premade layouts have a quick-navigation (dropdown menu) so I'd have that, and premade layouts also have the "save my place" function for saving the comic/episode location you were watching so you can "load my place" later, and optionally, I could maybe have non-intrusive advertising built into the site.
So that might seem like a fair amount. But given what I know ComicFury can already do. In that I've seen almost all of this already done. I'm pretty sure it'd be possible to do. And it'd be awesome.
This is what I mean. I mapped that out over a week ago. It's doable. Most likely, at least.
It feels like something I can actually have made real.
It feels like something where I could have a blast.
Just interacting with viewers, with fans, with friends, and coworkers, to make a project, pouring pure love into it every step of the way. A project which is mine...but also more than mine. Something greater, built by a team, a community. Something to share with the world, and be remembered for.
Something unique, quirky, original, and ambitious. Yet not so ambitious as to be impossible. To be manageable. To be something that can be made.
That's what I want to make on a daily basis.
But it's not every day I make a Phyrra and Cyrus.
It's not every day I make a Dawn of Order.
It's not every day that I get to have those moments of genius for lack of a better term.
It's not every day where I can snatch that greatness and feel it.
But on those days where I don't have the greatness.
I still remember the feeling of it.
The sensation remains.
On days I am not making the next Phyrra and Cyrus. Or for that matter, making Phyrra and Cyrus. I am remembering the sensation of Phyrra and Cyrus. And that is where the depression comes in...because I feel empty, because it's just so real and something just so close to something I can see tangible...yet not actually existing. The ideas will die with me.
I intend to live a very long life, of course. But the ideas if I don't make them...well. Nobody else would. Nobody else could. They could make something which has all the elements my notes describe, of course. But it wouldn't be how I had tried to make it because my notes aren't nearly as extensive as they should be, and there are little things here and there that the only way I'd be able to bring up is if someone first was trying to do them wrong and I'd be able to tell them, "No, not that. This." to fix it.
And that's the frustrating feeling.
Knowing that I have these ideas. Ideas that are. No matter how much I try to be humble. No matter how much I try to avoid arrogance. No matter how much I try to be a realist, a pessimist, a cynic. Ideas which are just...good. Ideas which are genius. I have them. And they demand to be made real.
I feel them as real. I actually live with them as real. I don't just see episodes of Phyrra and Cyrus. I also see me interacting with viewers who watch the latest episode of Phyrra and Cyrus. Me commenting on their comments, engaging them in dialogs which are currently nonexistent. Talking to them, revealing miscellaneous facts, sometimes being a bit of a trolling creator, other times revealing tiny snippets which couldn't make it into the show, small Word of God things like that, you probably can get a sense of what I mean.
When I think of them. I am actively doing that. Not just laying out the episode itself. But also the reactions to the episode, which I know would exist because. Well. I am confident in myself. Not arrogance. I know that, 100%. If Phyrra and Cyrus was made into a series. There would be fans. There would be people commenting. There would be a lot of them because in order for Phyrra and Cyrus to publish so much as a single episode. It'd need to get the publicity to get off the ground in the first place.
In other words. I know that if Phyrra and Cyrus existed. There would be people talking about it. It would demand to be watched. Demand to be seen. It would be popular, spread like wildfire. I know this because I know what I can make it be. If it existed, then it would exist at a high enough quality where those things would be impossible to not have.
And the depression more or less comes from.
"...So why isn't it so?!?"
So why don't Phyrra and Cyrus already exist.
So why doesn't Dawn of Order already exist.
So why doesn't this idea. Which is magical. Have its reality.
And why can't I have something like it, right now, in front of me.
Why can't I have something like it, or it itself, in my mind if nowhere else.
And that's what cuts deep. Not having it in front of me. Not having it in my head. And not having something similar to it in my head. Living in a world where it doesn't exist tangibly. Living in our world. A world close to the one they exist in. But they don't. Because I haven't made them exist yet, in spite of being their creator.
I think that describes my depression pretty well. And people might be able to relate to it now that I've described it in those terms. But I never know. Sometimes, it might just be I'm crazy.