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How do you deal with the loneliness?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by crandellbr, Jul 30, 2022.

  1. crandellbr

    crandellbr

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    I've seen it said that if Indies have a superpower, it's our capacity for toiling away in solitude. Honestly, though, loneliness is one reason why Indie development sucks. It's gone a long way to sapping my motivation in the past. I see dev blogs with months (maybe years?) worth of updates and no comments, and it's...legit depressing, actually. Like many of us are talking to ourselves or shouting into the void.

    I know I could participate on these forums more (or you know, at all), but body language and tone of voice count for a lot. I just don't get as much out of online-only interactions. I'm not the perfectionist I used to be, so I'm less preoccupied with what other people think and more focused on just getting things done. Still, I worry about staying motivated.

    How do you deal with this?
     
  2. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Having bigger worries than human contact helps. (half-joking)

    Not all people are extraverted and not all people require regular human contact. Some will be fine with a phonecall once per week. Or a month.
     
  3. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    few things help me:

    1. talk at wife about what i'm doing (she doesnt care, but she is a human and has ears)
    2. talk at the dogs if wife can't listen. they aren't human but they do listen earnestly. It's still useful to try and form discombobulated thoughts into words even if the listener is a poop-eating moron. Helps ameliorate over-thinking.
    3. keep journal/devblog somewhere public. Probably nobody ever reads it but you may pick up a few followers and that can be motivating.
    4. get involved in communities. I am not sure there is going to do a lot for you unless you have personal relationship directly with some people. But I do pick up plenty of good advice and help from forums. never hurts to ask a question or just put your thoughts out there, sometimes somebody says a tiny thing but it helps you big time.

    not something I am doing but may be worth the effort for certain people is to try to find partner/team. There is not substitute for being part of a human group and having actual meaningful relationships. All these things I mentioned just "take the edge off" of solitude.​
     
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  4. SunnySunshine

    SunnySunshine

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    For me it was always the other way around - how do people deal with the constant pressure to socialize? It wasn't until I became an indie that I finally found some relief. I've now been working alone for 7 years and I couldn't be happier!

    Perhaps this line of work requires a special kind of people. As @neginfinity pointed out, some are just fine receiving a phone call once a month.
     
  5. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    ...I just talk to my friends and loved ones? S***post with other devs online? I'm an indie dev, not a hermit living in the woods.
     
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  6. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

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    Unless you're crunching 24/7, you have time to go out. Tabletop evenings, gamedev meetups, book clubs w/e else strikes your fancy. Doesn't even have to be game related, just go out and meet people. Gamedev doesn't have to define 100% of your life. If nothing is happening around your part of the world, consider moving. I did, it paid off.
     
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  7. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    This sort of thing only works when those activities happen within 50(or 500) mile radius from where you live.
     
  8. warthos3399

    warthos3399

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    Im lucky, no one that i know of is a dev in my area, so everywhere i go (the store, work, sub shops, etc.) all ask "hows the game coming?", or "whats new with the game?". So we talk about it, as well as other things. Let anyone you can know your a game dev, alot of people are interrested in it, as your doing something most cant do.
     
  9. crandellbr

    crandellbr

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    I look forward to it, definitely. When things bogged down last time, I avoided the topic because it became more of an embarrassment than anything. I want to rush what I'm working on now so I can talk about it confidently, but I'm having to pace myself so I don't burn out again.
     
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  10. CodeSmile

    CodeSmile

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    I revel in loneliness. :D

    Okay it‘s not entirely true, the loneliness I can totally live with (honestly I wish I get to see, hear, smell much less of others). But getting feedback, especially on topics like this one, is crucial and not always readily available.

    On the other hand, I find it extremely taxing to deal with working on something someone else pays you to do, and it gets worse the less you get out of that work, the shorter the lifetime of whatever you are doing (marketing/promotional app devs have my sympathy), or if it goes against your moral standards (ie supporting industries that live off of fossile fuels, no matter how indirectly you support their greenwashing efforts).

    I burned out because some of these factors AND the fact that my last job as team lead was mainly socializing, communicating and balancing subjective priorities that shift depending on who you talk to and how and when and where … a compiler tells you „syntax error“ but this, it‘s all too many „maybe“ or „it depends“. My brain imploded from vagueness overload you could say.

    I do not have social anxiety but it seems very likely (diagnose in progress) that I’m wired differently. The Internet has allowed me to come this far in the first place, so I see indirect communication as a positive. Despite the sometimes rude and harsh tone. The salt is strong with these ones. o_O

    What I find taxing however is video conferencing. A flat, blurred image of another person talking in a muffled voice is too much indirection.

    I should be happy not being in this situation at this point in time, yet again it is different but similarly taxing having to come up with your own product idea and executing on it, believing in it, especially when that means you barely get any indicators of success (or failure) until you‘ve invested a lot. For me the real problem is: when can I come out in the open and start connecting with people who may have an interest in what I‘m developing? Because I need that feedback, then again I want to be certain I am not raising expectations too high, falling short of promises, having yet another dead project in my github, and so on. Chicken and omelette, sort of.

    Let‘s say I‘m not good at dealing with this, but I keep trying. And sometimes I allow myself to relax because the weird thing is, eventually something positive comes about through all this unconscious contemplating while ripping apart demons from hell :mad: (yeah I‘ve been playing Doom 2016 for the first time recently … I grew up on slaying demons, it was about time to go back to such a nice place :cool::D).
     
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  11. warthos3399

    warthos3399

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    Stop, take a breath. Your too critical of yourself bro. Never rush something, over what you think "others" view is. Dont let what you think "others view", dictate what you do, biggest mistake. You do you, dev what you feel, and dont let anyone steal your thunder. Thats what game dev is about.

    YOU are the creator, not them. Almost like saying: "if you can do it better, then show me", which they cant, lol. Relax...create and stop worrying about what others may think, and be proud of what you have done...
     
  12. Kreshi

    Kreshi

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    I don't think that loneliness is the biggest motivation killer.
    I think it is boredom.
    Developing a game requires so much focus on details and edge-case handling which makes progressing so tedious and slow. The fun-factor of developing a game proportionally decreases with the amout of time invested in developing it.
     
  13. superpig

    superpig

    Drink more water! Unity Technologies

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    Perhaps there's a User Group somewhere near you?
     
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  14. polemical

    polemical

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    ..I just checked out https://www.meetup.com/toronto-unity-developers/ (2451 members) as I'm not far from there, but there are no scheduled events. The most recent past event appears to be over 2 years ago :rolleyes:, ..if all groups are just as inactive, I don't see the value. Nice thought though!
     
  15. crandellbr

    crandellbr

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    @CodeSmile That all makes sense, and would frustrate me too. Compiler errors and edge cases are tedious, like Kreshi says, but at least those are objective circumstances. And yeah, Doom Eternal was my go-to game for a long time.

    I'll look into it again. I'm in what should be a good area for it, same as polemical, but the history for local Meetups is not much better than Toronto. The AAA devs all have their own social circles and don't bother mingling with us Indies.
     
  16. superpig

    superpig

    Drink more water! Unity Technologies

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    I wouldn't be surprised if many groups got a bit halted by the pandemic, but I suggest poking at them and seeing if you can resuscitate them. It doesn't take much to just get people to agree to go for a drink in the same place at the same time, y'know?
     
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  17. warthos3399

    warthos3399

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    Isnt it funny, the OP hasnt replied to any of our replies, but has touched us all in a certain way. A user, reaching out, to not feel so alone. Think we all feel that way from time to time. My answer?... just do it. Be proud of it, progress, and let nothing stop you, regardless of connections, or affiliations.

    Get back to work!...
     
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  18. pastaluego

    pastaluego

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    "how do you deal with the loneliness"

    "just talk to your wife"

    I don't think that advice is applicable to most indie devs.
     
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  19. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    lol, sorry i thought about that. but then i thought, the OP is likely more referring to loneliness in the work life, as in, "I do this work all day but have no one to talk about it with," and not just general loneliness like, "i havent hugged a person in 15 years."

    So the generalized version of what I am saying helps me is, "find a thing with ears and talk at it."

    It's a band-aid that helps sometimes, not a total solution.
     
  20. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    ...
    "A cat is fine too"

    (not my cat)
     
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  21. ippdev

    ippdev

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    Popcorn the dog is now 115 lbs. Great Pyrenees,/St Bernard/Kangal Mix. Cody is a rescued Molukkan Cockatoo. I have a tuxedo cat named Ghost who acts like a leopard in miniature. Cody reads minds. You even think of going out and Buh-Bye!! starts ringing out over and over. When you get stuck on a code problem she thinks the emotion is some kind of emotional stress she can help with and starts hollering "c'mere..c 'mere"! They require maintenance but they don't live in a false world and are entirely more satisfying to hang out with than 99.5% of humans at this juncture in time.

    The dog won't let any arguments happen and protects the other animals and even other animals from my animals. I heard a commotion in the living room. A bird had gotten in and the cat was after it. I got in the room at the same time as Popcorn right as the cat leaped and grabbed the bird out of the air. The dog ran over and pinned the cat with his paw and mouth..gently ..and the bird flew out the door. A pitbull came after his cat and he blocked it and warned it. It came after him and locked his beard.. I couldn't break it up..every time I got around to take a shot at the pit he would maneuver himself between me and the pit. He finally wore him out from the death grip bite on his beard (no flesh was bitten)and had his ear and was pinning him when the pits owner showed up and beat the hell out of the dog to disengage him.

    Animals are awesome. The cat appreciates the warmth that propane and gas provide in winter. The amount of work that is done by misnomered fossil fuels is significant. If you get rid of these fuels then mankind will be poor, freezing, sweating profusely and starving. This comment was sparked from a falsehood a poster above inserted.
     
  22. spiney199

    spiney199

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    How to deal with loneliness? Just become your own company. No better person to talk to than the person who knows exactly what you're on about.
     
  23. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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  24. crandellbr

    crandellbr

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    @BIGTIMEMASTER Thank you, I'll shoot a message. I found a thread like that before, but it was older and they were already struggling with capacity. If I miss this one, I'll keep a look out for more.

    @spiney199 That works for a while, especially for those of us who are wired differently, as some people here have said. After a while, though, if you have no one to share thoughts or experiences with, they just stop counting. Even introverts are ultimately social animals.
     
  25. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    If you can't find one, might consider starting your own too. I'm sure there is plenty of people in same boat.
     
  26. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    In some parts of my life I spent 20 years alone, so I don't really care to be honest. The key is to ultimately be doing this for yourself, then it won't feel lonely. If your goal is to impress others or make something impressive, it will get lonely at times.

    Or get a cat, preferably a rescue one from a shelter and love the little git to bits, but only if committed.

    Really though, just participate more for now. Join discord and learn the art of gently mocking Unity's business choices.

    Above all though, I'm glad you posted. Lets me show off how much of a miserable old fart I am, and hey it didn't hurt you, so why not post some more, nothing bad will ever happen to you.
     
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  27. ArachnidAnimal

    ArachnidAnimal

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    Honestly for me, working on my game IS the cure for loneliness. When I'm creating something or coding, all feelings of loneliness go away, and I feel happiness. Maybe this is partly why keep finding reasons to delay the releasing of my game on Steam, because I don;'t yet know what to do with my time after the game is released.
     
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  28. spiney199

    spiney199

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    I would imagine it was obvious that my post was not one to be taken seriously.
     
  29. crandellbr

    crandellbr

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    @spiney199 That tends to go over my head, sure. However, I can't be the only one who's burnt out toiling away on projects while neglecting other aspects of life.
     
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  30. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    If you're ever going to trust someone on this, trust me. It is not worth it and life has distinct periods. Again trust me on this.. if you waste a significant time on say, your younger years in dev, it will not end well. I don't know your situation or age but I can't justify anything that actually makes you choose between dev and living with people.

    I learned the hard way, I hope others do not.
     
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  31. crandellbr

    crandellbr

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    @hippocoder I did too and share the sentiment. I'm still young (at least I'm told I look young), so all is not lost. Thank you, I am trying to take this all to heart.
     
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