the blog is back baby - izzy kestrel's blog

the blog is back baby

hey it's ya girl izzy - back on that bloggin' grind like it's 2003

except this time it's not LiveJournal and also i probably won't be writing about how much high school sucks (i may or may not get sappy about cute girls, we'll see)

this first post is a glorified test to make sure my new blog is functional before i add more #content - i'm not entirely sure what that content will be at this point, but i'm sure it'll come naturally in time. although maybe it's worth doing a little intro post so you can figure out if you even want to come back for said #content

yeah so who are you again?

hi! i don't believe we've formally met. my name is isabelle adena kestrel, but you can call me izzy for short (or isabelle for long. if you have a personal preference that's hot imo). i am a trans woman (she/her pronouns) and i've been making video games for like a decade-ish now (maybe longer if you count all the half-finished shit i made in RPG Maker 95)

Virtually Competent

my first "serious" foray into gamedev started around 2012 when i founded Virtually Competent along with Clover Greenhalgh - i did most of the design/programming/etc and Clover painted the gorgeous pixels, though we also had a handful of collaborators that varied from project to project. v-comp was very much a hobbyist endeavor, though i did create an LLC and treat it like a proper job as much as i was able to. not bc i thought it would ever be anything more, but it was fun to "play" like i was running a proper studio.

after our last game, Crystal Control II (our first and only Steam release), we decided to put v-comp to rest. i did some other creative junk in the subsequent years (most notably, making music with Good Evening Gumm) but gamedev largely took the backseat as i was busy with my IT support day job and also this whole "transgender" thing


COVID turned my office job at a hospital into a work from home situation, which i quickly realized was more ideal for me anyway. when it came time to return to the office, i decided i'd much rather continue working remotely and if i was going to make a career move anyway, why not finally try to do games professionally?

so i managed to land a job at Funomena, a studio that i had been following for a long time. i started in a Gameplay Engineering role on a Roblox project but ended up doing quite a lot of design work, too. i really enjoyed my time there, working with some very lovely and talented folks, but that ended abruptly with a studio shutdown and mass layoffs. it felt strangely validating to be laid off from my gamedev job.

this industry has some issues.

A Little Game Called Mario

it feels a little weird to highlight this in the same way as v-comp and Funomena, but it does feel very relevant to my life in this moment and this is my blog and i make the rules so i guess you're just gonna have to deal with some inconsistency here

A Little Game Called Mario was a dumb idea i had based on someone else's twitter joke. i thought i'd tweet it out and get a few laughs and move on, but Little Mario had other plans. after the project went somewhat viral, i scrambled to sand off some of the rough edges and make a Discord community and basically turned this dumb idea into a full-time job while i had the time (and "privilege", being unemployed but financially stable enough) to do so

i could go on about Little Mario but tbh i could probably write a whole post about my experience with the project so i'll just leave that for another day

so yeah. it's been a wild ride and seems like it will only get wilder. i don't want to say too much at this point, but i have signed an offer with a new studio and will probably "announce" that properly on twitter once i'm sure it's definitely not a dream. also knocking on wood that they don't go under in 5 months bc i'm secretly cursed (or is it Gex that is cursed?)

alright you seem cool and all but you still didn't really explain this blog thing

tl;dr i've always loved to write and while i've exercised that muscle in various ways over the years (writing about game design, making Twine games, etc), my past writing is kind of scattered all over the internet and also a lot of it is very old by now. much of it even uses proper capitalization and doesn't have run-on sentences and is just too formal for this sloppy bitch. i ain't about that life no more

if you're really curious i guess i'll link some old stuff that i still think is pretty good, but mostly as an attempt to vindicate my writing style:

i assure you that every choice i make in my life is painfully considered (especially my writing) and my departure from Speaking Like A Professional is also very intentional. my house my blog my rules

anyway that's probably enough rambling for now. i have a cat to feed and a Little Mario to manage. talk more soon