"What The F*** Am I Doing?"

Want to know what it's really like working on The Darkness?

Brace yourself for what we call 'our best exclusive developer opinion piece ever', as Starbreeze Art Director Jens Matthies gives it some blammo, and, well, basically goes a bit mental. Inspired, jaw-dropping, must-read stuff.

Jens Matthies - Starbeeze Art Director

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In two months I'm 30. Don't know why but I think it's getting to me.

I start to wonder what I've accomplished in my life. Is my limited time on the planet well spent? Is it reasonable to do what I do for a living? Common sense?

To spend three years on a project I have no way of knowing will be any good, except trusting that we somehow can find it in us to will it into being so.

This all consuming work that devour my every waking moment. That destroys every non-work related relationship. That makes you feel trapped in some kind of moebius strip state of stasis.

And for what? To provide an excuse for some spoiled middle-class young man to satisfy his blood-lust and make it through another day like a good consumer - mouth shut and no ambition to create something meaningful.

For a product that is on the ass end of the cultural spectrum, has a four month shelf-life, zero name recognition for the creators and all profits hoarded by the publishers.

All the while our screenshots are torn apart by 14-year olds on the internet who think next-gen equals the look of Sony's gazillion dollar pre-rendered game concept videos.

What the f*** am I doing?

And then I spy something. Through the ocean of bugs, through the never ending struggle of making a machine act human, I glimpse the undeniable fact of how goddamn great our game will be.

It's in the small things. They catch me off guard.

A modeler dancing in joy outside my office, just so happy to finally have nailed the perfect look on a character model.

A programmer triumphantly annihilating an extra evil bug while a scripter, hovering over his shoulder, impatiently cheers him on.

A texture artist and a level designer toiling away like Vulcan mind-meldees to create a completely realistic bathroom.

An animator relentlessly re-targeting 300 rifle animations while screaming vile death-threats at the bug-riddled Motion Builder.

A sound designer flawlessly capturing the essence of a drill tearing through cheek bone.

Such a conundrum. It puzzles me.

So desperately meaningless, yet without any doubt as good as it gets.*

*Originally run in Xbox World 360, issue 47