First, the good news: I was able to recover $5800 in funds of my sister, so now she can pay the loan she took to pay for her knee surgery. The campaign's total amount needed was adjusted down accordingly. This means we are now 13% funded!
We have been quite silent in the last couple weeks. The main reason is that my wife had been having strong chest pains and we went to several doctors trying to figure out what happened.
Thanks to the money donated via PayPal, we paid for an ultrasound in a private clinic and found out that she has multiple lumps in her breasts. We also did a mammography in a public hospital, which found these same lumps plus another one, and are awaiting for the final results to go to a breast specialist. The results from the public hospital takes 30 days to be delivered, which is why we also did the ultrasound on a private clinic. With the results we got so far it seems that those lumps aren't too dangerous despite all the pain she's feeling, so she's taking pain medications while we wait to see the doctor. She's 40 years old (and I'm 41), but we're optimistic.
Something else that should have been good news is that I was approached by some nice people trying to hire me to work on game development. This wasn't the first time that I almost got a job on game development, but like the other times, it didn't work out. I had panic attacks for 3 days straight during the conversation, which made me froze and not say anything. The truth is that despite having achieved some good innovations in graphics technology, I have no idea how hardware-rendered graphics actually works. None of my work was based on reproducing hardware rendering algorithms, and Retroquad is not a mimicry of how GPUs work; all additional algorithms in it, including the anisotropic texturemapping, were figured out independently by me. The knowledge I have simply does not translate to the needs of hardware rendering. I don't like to disappoint people, but the truth is that I'm simply unhirable.
For the last 8 years I've been working as a night watchman for the local government. It's a low paid job, but it's very stable since they can't fire me, and it gives me a lot of free time to study and dedicate myself to other activities such as computer programming. Another plus is that it's a work where I don't have to interact with people. As someone with Asperger syndrome, interpersonal interactions are often frustrating. At 41 years old I can express myself better, but I've become chronically depressed and extremely reclusive. My wife is everything to me and the only thing that gives me true happiness in my life. She fills my heart with joy and helps me become a better person everyday.
Last month I've started treating my depression with antidepressants. I have also been pondering what to do next.
As mentioned before, we're waiting for the 30 days period to end to be able to withdraw the funds from GoGetFunding to my bank account, in order to pay the water bills. This should happen in a couple weeks. Meanwhile, the donations received through PayPal helped us pay the other pending bills and stay afloat.
Besides the water bills, there's also the lawsuit costs, a credit card consolidation loan, two bank loans and the housing loan. All these loans combined have fully consumed my salary, which is why I've become desperate and started this campaign when the lawsuit results also piled in.
Our first priority is to pay the pending water bills. The lawsuit costs are also important, but strategically speaking, paying off the credit card consolidation loan has a higher priority because it's a $1700 loan with 130% interest rate (which is typical in Brazil); if I don't pay these $1700 as soon as possible, I'll end up paying over $3400 for it over time. Plus, this credit card consolidation loan is consuming 37% of my salary (which is nearly 100% compromised), so I really need to pay it off to be able to keep paying at least some bills.
So, to sum it up, as soon as the funds are released I'll pay the water bills and the credit card consolidation loan. The lawsuit costs will stilll be pending, as well as other 2 bank loans and the housing loan. It's still a very difficult situation, but we're incredibly grateful for all the donations and the kind words we've got so far, because prior to that we were in absolute despair.
Now at least we have some time to ponder about possibilities and plan our next steps. Realistically speaking, I don't think it's possible to reach this campaign's goal with donations alone. We need another source of income.
The best way to achieve this may be to focus on doing the things I'm the most productive at. Several of you who helped us, as well as other people elsewhere, wished me to continue developing Retroquad, so opening a Patreon to fund Retroquad and related projects is an option. This engine is really the thing I am most productive at, but I don't know if that's enough.
Creating an independent game all by myself is not an option because that would take too long. The funds we received with this campaign won't last long enough.
Getting a job with software development... I already tried before, and despite having deep knowledge about a few topics, my skills aren't broad enough to satisfy the needs of others. Everything I studied was just out of personal interest, not to fit into the job market.
The more realistic option for me is to get a second low end job to try to feed my family. This will effectively leave me without any free time to work on any projects anymore, specially Retroquad. The average low end job salary where we live is $200 per month. But according to my estimates, the amount of secondary monthly income we need is almost $500. My wife already lost a job earlier this year because of the pandemic. She tried getting another job, but now she can't work anymore because of the pain and we don't know how many months will last her treatment.
If I wasn't so deep in debt, my salary alone would be nearly enough to feed my family. Anyway, now I'm considering the options, and pondering how to proceed.
As another gift for everyone, I've made an add-on pack for Retroquad with all textures from Quake's official mission packs, plus transparent water data and configuration files. The sky shading file in hipnoticcache can be moved to id1cache (I forgot to do this). All mission pack textures, except one, are placed in id1textures because thanks to Retroquad's CRC naming, there are no texture mismatches; this helps reduce the amount of redundant files and allows custom maps to use the mission packs' textures. Download.
Thank you for everyone who could help and share this campaign, it meant the world for me. Because you are helping me save my family, and they are my world.
This week we took care of several things. First of all, I went to the water company and got a full list of all pending bills to pay. I still can't pay it because GoGetFunding takes 30 days to allow withdrawal, but we're safe because there would still be an 1 or 2 month period before the water company could cut our water. As soon as the funds are released, I'll pay these bills.
The donations made through PayPal wouldn't be enough to pay the water bills, but I was able to withdral them already. This helped us to pay the monthly bills, fix the car and buy groceries.
When I see my family smiling, and see all this, I am incredibly thankful for you all. We're all grateful for all the help, all the donations, all the posts which were shared, and all the kind words. Just by looking at how we have food on the table now, I see that you're all changing our world for the better. Thank you, friends.
Most of the PayPal funds are still unspent. We're waiting to see if there will be enough donations to pay the lawsuit's costs too, and we'll keep managing our finances tightly to not waste anything, so things can slowly improve.
As a "thank you" to everyone who's been helping, I have also released some betas of an old project of mine.
Fightoon was my first attempt at a commercial game. Development started on early 2006 (or late 2005, not sure), and the project was cancelled in mid 2007. It was going to be released for Microsoft Windows and Sega Dreamcast.
Only the Windows version is included. The Dreamcast version performed poorly, and my DC isn't near me right now for testing.
If you can keep sharing the campaign, it will help a lot. Only 2 potential buyers for our house appeared so far, but none of them gave any certainty. Now we're safe on the short term, but there still are big difficulties ahead.
Thank you a lot, everyone. Your kindness means much for us.
So far we've raised almost enough to pay at least the water bills. With around $270 more, we can fully pay the water bills to make sure our water won't be cut.
There's still a long way to go to pay for the lawsuit's costs and to save our house, but we're hopeful that at least we'll still have water while dealing with those other issues.
We're incredibly thankful for everyone who helped so far. Let's keep spreading the word, and fingers crossed!