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I quit my job to live in a van, travel the country, and make The Great American Video Game

I just quit my job, moved out of my apartment, and piled my stuff into a 2002 Dodge Ram conversion van I bought off Craigslist.


Hey! I’m Tom Sennett, indie game designer from the great state of Pennsylvania. I just quit my job (as a Product Manager with the fine folks at Fueled in Manhattan), moved out of my apartment (in lovely Jersey City) and piled my stuff into a 2002 Dodge Ram conversion van that I bought off Craigslist in Jamaica, Queens.

The first person I told about this plan was the guy I bought the van from. The second person I told was my boss, when I quit.

Let’s cover some frequently asked questions.

Are you OK?

Yeah, I feel great! I mean, I’m a little hungover today, but it was my last night in NYC so what do you expect?

But really. I have been frustrated with my life situation for a while. I had a very serious relationship end earlier this year, and that was tough… and when I got things back on track and stabilized, I started to realize that my life, while comfortable and by many measures successful, was not the life I wanted.

I’d be lying if I told you I have my shit together right now. But I know I want to live a simpler life, I want to travel, I want to be outside more, take better care of myself, visit my friends and family, and control more of my time. Above all, I’ve always wanted to be a game designer. That’s about the only thing I’ve known my whole life, and this is one way to get there.

Why didn’t you talk to anyone before doing this?

I care deeply about what my friends and family think, and I value their opinions and take their guidance to heart. I didn’t want to be talked out of doing this. This is the first major transition in my life that was dictated entirely on my terms. Where I went and what I did always “made sense”, whether it was at Penn State, Scranton, or New York, and I found that wasn’t working for me. So I wanted to try something different.

How are you going to shower?

I’ll be joining a national 24 hour gym like Planet Fitness. I’ll also be staying with friends and family along the way. And, I dunno, I probably just won’t shower as much generally?

Where are you going first?

I’m headed to my parents’ house in Pennsylvania to drop off some stuff and get organized, then making my way down to Atlanta to visit my brother. I will probably meander a bit getting down there. The only real plan at this point is to go south toward warm weather.

What game are you going to work on first?

Still figuring that out. I have one idea I’m excited about, but part of doing things differently now is making sure I’m working on the right stuff. I don’t want to put myself in a situation where I dump a ton of time and money into a game, it turns out great, and then nobody buys it (I’ve done that). I’ll be documenting how I want to approach this going forward.

Wait, so you’re really living out of a van?

It’s not that crazy!

How can I support you and follow your adventures?

Play my games! If you want to support me right now the best way to do it is to buy a copy of Deepak Fights Robots for PC/Mac or to buy a copy of Sorkle for iOS/Android.

To keep up with what I’m doing, the best thing is to follow me on Twitter. I’m also going to document my travels here, and on YouTube.

See you on the road!

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