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Enthusiasm drops half way through project.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 8Eye, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. 8Eye

    8Eye

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    Hi. So i have been making games a lot lately but not actually finishing them to a solid polished level. I dont know why but my enthusiasm for the project just disappears when i get to the stage where i have done most of the core mechanics in my game. At first i'm excited and and can't wait to get started, i can sit there all day and develop the game, but, all of a sudden i start to get stressed with everything and begin getting lazy with my code, not caring about the art or anims. Eventually i will scrap the project and start a new one based on what game is inspiring at that current time.

    Its starting to become a problem, i have to many unfinished projects on my HD that i have wasted time on and can't get that inspiration that i need to complete them. Maybe its because im working on my own and have no one there to pat me on the back and keep me going.

    Anyone else going through this or knows how to beat it?
     
  2. R-Lindsay

    R-Lindsay

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    You might be like me, where a lot of the drive is gone after all the hard problems are solved. 'Beating' a problem gives a kind of rush, but those are all dried up when the problems become too easy. Once you've coded the core mechanics finishing something essentially becomes monkey work with no more 'hits'. On the other hand that new idea is calling you...

    Or, you could be scared of putting your work out there - a kind of fear of failure. If you keep it to yourself in a nearly completed state you can easily convince yourself that it would have been an awesome game, but you simply chose not to complete it (rather than actually completing it and finding out that nobody really likes it). This way you protect your ego.

    Or.. it could be something else entirely :)

    They way I try to beat it, whatever the cause, is by cultivating discipline / forming a habit. Pushing through the hard times is a skill that you can get better at by practice, essentially the way you get better at anything (i.e. do it once and the next time is slightly easier).
     
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  3. wbakunis

    wbakunis

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    I have the same exact issue and fully understand what you're going through. What I recommend doing is making a todo list and giving yourself a timeline. Only do one thing at a time and don't jump around to other areas of your project. You will eventually spread yourself thin across your project. Take a one or two day break from your projects. All work and no play makes me a dull boy. I find that going and replaying the games that gave me inspiration for my current project revives my mind.

    Theres two things that stop me from continuing projects, Ai & depression.

    I always tend to create projects with heavy complicated ai. Ill write up a concept for what I want it to and how I want the Ai to handle itself but It just gets way over my head. I've tried using unity's nav system and other prebuilt systems. All end up getting way over my head.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  4. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    Note that ultimately it is YOU who is standing in the way of your project proceeding, not the project. The project is neutral. Either it gets made or it doesn't. It can't get made on its own. It only gets made if you decide to take lots of action to make it. Do you have an aversion to making the game art/animation? Are you unskilled in that area, and therefore afraid of judgement about the quality of what you can come up with, or how long it will take?
     
  5. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    It is difficult to provide any help because like the others have mentioned there are numerous reasons for this.

    Maybe the games are too simple and after most of the core mechanics are in it doesn't really excite you enough to keep going?

    Or maybe you just don't like the stage where you need to continually refine things here and there with much of it not being readily apparent despite being very important.

    Or maybe the games are too complex and by the time you have finished implementing the core mechanics you are burnt out and just don't want to keep working on the rest of the stuff.

    I enjoy finishing things more than simply working on things. Because of that goal I lean toward simpler projects or multiple larger projects. For larger projects, I find it is much better for me to work on project A for a while then work on project B for a while. This approach keeps things fresh and also more productive because of being able to "knock out two birds with one stone" designing a system or whatever that can work for both projects. Lately I am only tackling one small game at a time though. Putting much more emphasis on the design than anything else. Trying to create depth and interest in as small of a scope as possible.

    There is another completely reasonable explanation. Maybe you are just having fun learning. Occasionally, I work on something just to learn and improve my skills. The joy comes from learning and figuring things out. Not so much for the first time these days but maybe for the 5th time or 7th time. An ongoing process of continually improving and streamlining a method, a system, etc. I do that occasionally just to continue improving my overall code quality and to gain the satisfaction of doing it. So maybe you are simply finding enjoyment in the learning and software engineering phase and not finding enjoyment in the game development phase itself.
     
  6. 8Eye

    8Eye

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    I would't say i'm afraid to put my work out there for the public to criticize because i have already done that and enjoyed the feedback and improved my game based off it. I have 2 games on kong right now that i made about a year ago. The thing i'm lacking is organising my games, i always jump in head first and don't bother planning ahead because i get to excited. Ye so thats something im do in the future.

    You mite be right about not getting any challenge after i have done the core programming, because after that, i am just copying pasting from other things and drawing my terrible art. I think i just need a break and need to play a few games for inspiration because i have not had a proper gaming session in a while. Rimworld looks like fun. Hopefully i will come back with that fire.
     
  7. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    It is completely normal for all creative people to lose some of the initial enthusiasm that drive us after we get past the initial stage of a project. In many cases, it is the abundance of new exciting ideas that steal all of us away from completing existing ideas. You need to develop the skills to move forward anyway, because what really matters is completing and then shipping.

    I would strongly recommend reading "Making Ideas Happen".
    http://www.amazon.com/Making-Ideas-Happen-Overcoming-Obstacles/dp/1591844118
     
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  8. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    I have a similar motivation set. Once I can see a clear path to the end, I have no desire to follow it. A few tips to consider.

    If this is just a hobby, then don't bother finishing games. It really doesn't matter. Keep doing the interesting bits. Once you have a proof of concept move on.

    If you are making this a career, then team up with a finisher. There are people out there who can't stand unfinished projects, to about the same degree we can't be bothered with them. In many cases these people actually enjoy the polishing work over the core mechanics.

    Alternatively set yourself very short, challenging dead lines. Can you polish the game in the next twenty four hours? Release it at the end no matter what it looks like.
     
  9. DigiLusionist

    DigiLusionist

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    Perfection is the enemy of progress.
     
  10. JamesLeeNZ

    JamesLeeNZ

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    pretty standard practice tbh.

    I finished all the core gameplay of hardkour in 3 days. It didnt make it to the store for another 3-4 months because I faffed around on the bits I didnt enjoy doing.
     
  11. DigiLusionist

    DigiLusionist

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    I, too, experience this. I can sustain interest in / commitment to a project for so long before I suddenly find it a drag to do. I love the challenges of figuring out the first two or three versions of the game (as playtesting proceeds). But, after three to six months, it becomes tedious to do the other aspects.

    I think it's because there's something not right with a part of it that I need to figure out. Thing is, it makes me question whether any of the rest of it is any good.

    So, I take a break from the project by starting another one. Somewhere along the line, I figure out what it is wrong with the first project, and then I fix it and finally get it done.
     
  12. SteveJ

    SteveJ

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    Posts like this kind of annoy me to be honest. The WHOLE PROCESS is "Game Development" - that means the "fun" bits and the "boring" bits. You're either doing it or you're not.

    I try not to think about it as anything other than a whole PROJECT. As soon as you start delaying certain aspects in favour of others because they're not as "fun" then you're on a slippery slope and putting yourself at risk of never completing anything.
     
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  13. Kondor0

    Kondor0

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    There's no trick here, you just have to keep pushing. Maybe make a short break but make sure is short or you'll lose the momentum.

    The stages after prototyping may not be fun but this hard work is work that you are doing for yourself and your future and you should remember that. If it were easy anyone could do it.
     
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  14. Ony

    Ony

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    You can try what I do. I paid a hit man to come take me out if I don't deliver my project on time. If I deliver on time or before, then he gives me back my money and it's all good. If not, then, well...

    Anyway. You could try something like that or you could just do what everyone else is saying, which is to just trudge through and do it. Where's the fun in that though?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
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  15. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    You know what, that might just work for me! Totally stealing this idea.
     
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