Viola is a story about a young girl, trapped in her own nightmare.
I'm the kind of writer who does a lot of outlining. I want to know what the story is about before I start writing. However, I almost always start with a very specific scene. For Viola, it was a scene about a girl being trapped by her own negative thoughts given a corporeal form by her own fantasy.
Viola & Me
Lots of writers model their main characters after themselves: there's a reason why Stephen King's character are often writers, and why they get haunted by cars every now and then. Viola and I share the same connection.
It's been years, but I vividly remember being in my own 'nightmare world'. It was incredibly difficult to find a job in the game industry field after I graduated. The initial plan was to start a company right after school with a friend, a plan I carried with me all up to graduation. My friend bailing on me didn't even cross my mind, and of course, that's what ended up happening. Since I didn't have an adequate enough skillset to make games by myself, I started looking for a job. The nightmare started after weeks of rejections from various companies turned into months of rejections, which turned into more than a year of them.
I hated myself. I thought I couldn't do anything. That I was worthless. That somehow, everything that happened was my fault. It was a world that my own feelings created, fueled by negativity and rejection.
I don't feel that way anymore. My family and friends love me regardless. I was the one who put emphasis on a personal lack of skill, if there ever even was one. I'm more confident than ever before that I'm a skilled person, more than capable of learning anything I might need to learn.
Thinking about Viola's nightmare world, I knew it had to be born under similar circumstances from mine. I want Viola (and everyone who might end up playing my game) to know that it's okay to be bad at something. You can learn. And you'll have people to support you along the way.