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I can't be bothered to finish my game?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mountainstream, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. mountainstream

    mountainstream

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    I'm 99% finished on my game which has taken over a year. Maybe i needs a couple more weeks of work.

    But the thing is I just can't be bothered to finish it.

    All I can do is watch YouTube videos and repeats of STNG on Netflix.

    Also, I'm thinking of starting a radio show. Or going travelling.

    :( FML
     
  2. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Do you really only have a couple of weeks left on it? The "polish" stages of a project often take as long or longer than it took to get functionally and content complete.

    What system are you using to manage your tasks? I find that I slow down and lose motivation the moment that my to-do list becomes even slightly unclear. If I have to think about what to do it'll take me ages to get started on something. If I have to think about what "finished" looks like for a task I'll noodle about at it for ages. On the other hand, if I have an obvious list of well defined tasks with clear deliverables I can sit there and knock them down all day.

    So that'd be my practical advice. Do some planning so that your next actions are concrete. Even if you're not motivated, if you know what the steps are you can just plod along and chip away at them.

    Also, for what it's worth... games are hard. You will not magically stay motivated for all parts of a non-trivial project. It's not unusual. If you'd making games for anything other than a hobby then being disciplined about doing the bits that aren't fun is important.

    - - -

    On the bright side... you're two weeks away from finising a game! That's freaking cool!
     
  3. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    What's the game?
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  4. mountainstream

    mountainstream

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    Hmm....

    You're probably right. I just write my notes in Notepad.

    I think I'm putting too much pressure to finish it in 2 weeks when really I should just take my time.

    And then the self-imposed pressure is making me not want to work on it.

    The whole point of being self-employed is to enjoy your work. But then I end up putting self-imposed deadlines on myself!

    Well, it's a space game, so potentially, I could keep adding to it forever, but I have got an end in mind. I just think I need to plan things out better.
     
  5. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    I've got to disagree with that. Enjoying your work is great, but the point of work is to generate income. Being able to do work which we enjoy is an enormous privilege.

    If you're doing this for self employment, then keep two things in mind:
    - The chances of any individual game making lots of money are slim, so you need to plan on making multiple games.
    - An unreleased game is guaranteed to make no money.

    If you're doing this as self-employment then you need to be disciplined about getting stuff finished and commercialised. Every day you waste with procrastination is another day away from income.
     
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  6. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Do you like your game?
     
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  7. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    I hope your have promoted it with devlogs etc. If not its time to start
     
  8. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Procrastination usually means you are afraid of something. Uncertainty. Fear or failure, judgement, whatever. Doesn't matter.

    Publish the thing bugs and all, and you'll be a giant step forward from where you are right now. Don't think -- just do it.
     
  9. GameDevCouple_I

    GameDevCouple_I

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    If you really cant finish it (I suggest first take a week off, and then see how you feel) then at least publish it to itch.io bugs and all so that its not a complete loss. You can always then return to it at a later date to clean it up / turn into a full product.
     
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  10. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Yeah waiting a week is probably good idea.


    This is why I post all my crappy artwork from the beginning. You can't be afraid to show people your stuff. You should be showing off everything. Where is your game? How come we have not been seeing it?

    Two benefits to showing off your work -- one you get feedback which helps you understand how others view your work. Two, you get accustomed to dealing with fear of rejection so that when it's time to publish something big, you don't gotta go through emotional roller coaster. You stay calm and collected and make the best decisions because you already done this many times before.
     
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  11. GameDevCouple_I

    GameDevCouple_I

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    Your artwork is not crappy :) but I agree with everything else you said :)
     
  12. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Do it later, if it's not for business then who cares when it's done. The mentality of pushing someone to dev against their will is utterly stupid and has no place in game development at all.

    Introducing crunch to a hobby is the most bizarre thing I've ever heard of.
     
  13. GameDevCouple_I

    GameDevCouple_I

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    EA (Hobbyist) Games

    "Challenge everything. Including your own sanity."
     
  14. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    I didn't think anybody suggested something like that?

    Speaking for myself, I think it's important to develop confidence in your work and be able to finish despite minor, normal emotional triggers. There is a big range between being a slave driver and exercising grit. Only OP knows themselves and knows where they stand of course, so if the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it. May be good reason they aren't keen on finishing right now, who knows. I figured it they posting here about it they were looking for a little push though.
     
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  15. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    A few things to consider:
    1) The last 1% of every creative project (including games) will take a lot longer than you expect. Even after all of the core systems are working properly, there will still be lots of time consuming polishing. There is a reason people say the last 10% of a project takes 90% of the time to complete.
    2) Projects often stall because of a lack of clarity. If you feel stuck, sit down and write out a very detailed list of what needs to get done. Then create an even more detailed sub-list of steps for each item on your list. Simply going through that process will often get a project moving forward again.
    3) Look through your lists and cross off any wants. Just keep the needs. Not everything needs to get done.
    4) Acknowledge that making games is hard. Decide if it is really what you want to do. There are easier, more reliable ways to generate income than trying to be an indie game dev. Don't be upset with yourself if you decide not to finish your game.
    5) Release a rough, unfinished build to get early feedback. Game players don't see things the same way game developers do. If you plan to eventually sell your game, then you need early feedback to get an idea what works and what does not work with gamers.
     
  16. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Congrats on sticking with it so long. I must agree with @BIGTIMEMASTER it is actually pretty common for people to stop when reaching the end of a project because they start doubting themselves, their project, etc.

    Basically they are afraid to release.

    Sometimes a person just doesn't really want the project to be done because "then what?" meaning they have been with this project for a long time and don't like the idea of starting over at the beginning with "the next one".

    Completely up to you of course but I look at it like just wrap it up and get it out there.

    The suggestion to release on itch.io is a great one.

    Also, if you haven't, consider making a web build and submit to Feedback Friday over in the Game Design forum. Then you can at least get some feedback and make some updates before releasing out in the wild.

    If you are really just sick of the game or game dev in general that is fine too. It does get tiring. If you enjoy it then work on it. If not then don't.
     
  17. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    Welcome to the club, population 99% of UT general forums users.
     
  18. Ony

    Ony

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  19. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    Yep, when your game is at 99%, congratulations you're almost halfway done.

    Edit:
    It can be very demoralizing, as the earlier phase of development is one of seeing continued progress. New features added, the game begins to take shape, exciting to get your friends to try out whatever new things you just added.

    The later half of development is adjusting a button anchor which displays wrong at certain resolutions, fixing corner cases which most users will never hit, fixing a wall you can walk through, some minor balancing, etc, etc. Nothing you can really show off, nothing that feels like tangible progress.
     
  20. frosted

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    I think the core problem with a lot of projects is actually that they're bad. The problem isn't so much that the author is afraid of release, it's that the author is correct in that the game isn't good.

    For some people, releasing garbage isn't a desirable outcome, so they don't release.

    For others, release itself, even if the game is bad is a goal worth targeting.

    Myself, I've been in both camps on different projects. I wouldn't say one is more right than the other, although if you want to be a professional, I think that releasing (garbage or not) is the most reliable way to get there.

    But I don't think that most people who dabble in game dev are looking to be professionals. I think more want to do it as self expression, hobby, or labor of love. And if your goals aren't professional then there may not be harm in holding back a release you believe will suck.
     
  21. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    It's not about releasing garbage. Not sure where that came from. lol

    And I'm not saying that it is the #1 cause or anything like that but completion anxiety / fear of finishing whatever people call it is a real thing. Sometimes I guess probably just a fear of failure. Also is true that often perfectionism and anxiety are tightly linked.

    Definitely agree there needs to be some middle ground between making the game solid (good enough) and getting it out there. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  22. steve-thud

    steve-thud

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    A lot of good advice in here talking about how the last stretch of a project, fixing bugs and fine tuning your game, can take up half of the total time of development. And you can indefinitely keep finding new things to work on!

    Set yourself a date to get the game out by and stick to it. Time pressure will force you into prioritising the most you can squeeze out of that time.

    And remember, it's 2019, so post-release updates are an option. ;)
     
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  23. mountainstream

    mountainstream

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    Well I've kind of got going a bit now.
    Although, I'm still kind of procrastinating until it's like 2 am in the morning.
    I've got 2 released games already so probably I'm worrying that this game will be bad. Or not so much that it will be bad, just that it will be average. Difficult Third Album Syndrome!
    I've done some beta testing and people were able to play it OK, but I didn't get the feeling they were blown away. Although I was told the graphics were really good which I was happy with.
    Also too many other things on my mind to concentrate.
    Funny thing is, once I get going on it, I can get back into the "zone". But also I'm also begginning to fear the zone since it is a place which can drag you in for hours. funny thing.
    OH well if I can only get in the zone at 4am then so be it.
    #firstworldproblems :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
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  24. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    Good luck man, we've all been in the good/bad zones. Keep plugging away. Sometimes, a change of venue can help, like lugging your lappy to a coffee shop with headphones.
     
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  25. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Good luck with it! Maybe you just needed a break. ;)
     
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  26. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    Welcome back @GarBenjamin we missed you man! Hope you're back using unity again ;)
     
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  27. dl290485

    dl290485

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    I have a different experience from what's described here, and what is likely for anyone who wants to sell their game.

    For me, I lose motivation for a project when I cross a milestone. I'm most interested when I don't know if I can even get something to work. For example I started working on a Mario Party like board game. As a hobbyist/amateur, I was curious if I could 1: Make a large, detailed, 3D map from scratch (using third party assets for houses, trees, etc, and the terrain builder). And 2: Make the framework that the board game would operate with (so taking turns, getting random rolls, moving on the board, events on squares, etc).

    When I made the map and it looks fantastic, I got excited and worked on the mechanics. When I got a working proof of concept for the mechanics... I was done. It felt like I could finish the project, if I wanted to. But instead I had another idea come in my head. Can I do.... (insert other projects).

    So I've found I'm most interested in a project when there is a challenge and a question mark on it to figure out, but way less interested when it's clear the project has turned into the pure work of completing it.

    I do work in circles though. I left my board game for maybe half or even a full year, then I came back to the shell I left and worked on it a heap until I actually have a full game I could call complete. I haven't called it complete though because I want to keep adding to it, mostly in the form of as many mini games as possible. While making one mini game though I got side tracked when others suggested (and I also figured) that it would be better as a stand alone game. So that's what I'm currently working on and will likely go back to the board game after. The good thing about where it's at now is that I can keep making 'new' projects, because that will be thinking up and implementing the new mini games, and other maps in the future too I guess.

    Anyway yeah, just thought I would rant on here to share a different perspective (other than fear of releasing or no clarity/plan for the project) for why motivation can drop off in the mid or late project stage.
     
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  28. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Story of my life.
     
  29. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    I've had that kind of thing before too.

    For me it's because I greatly enjoy figuring things out.

    Once all is figured out (aka "the thinking & designing") and was just a matter doing it didn't have as much interest.

    Kind of like with software engineering in general... the real challenge & work is the design (architecture, etc... aka "the thinking") and once that is done it is basically just grunt work of type, type, typing.

    Basically the challenge is gone or at least the challenge I was focusing on "solving problems, designing solutions".

    For me I got around this by creating my own challenges. Setting goals and so forth. Expanding pieces and focusing on them through continual playtesting and iteration. Basically extending that problem solving mindset beyond just the technical specifics to be more game-completion-oriented.

    Plus I really like completing things and that helps a lot too.

    You could try something like that and see how if it helps. I completely get it though. The challenge the "can I do it?" is a big motivator for some people.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
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  30. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    I find that the best way to counter this problem is to simply shift it along the development cycle. It's not just 'can I make this technically work?' but 'can I sell this?', 'can I make money with this?' or even just 'am I able to complete this?'

    If someone has this problem while also being too narrowly interested on the technical side - i.e. they cannot formulate a worthy problem out of every part of the game development process - they are going to have a hell of a time getting anything finished.
     
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  31. frosted

    frosted

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    Yeah, a lot of this really comes down to:
    - Why are you working on a game in the first place?
    - What do you want to get out of the experience?

    People will have different answers to those questions, and none of those answers are wrong.

    Sometimes co-collaborators will have different answers to those questions and that can cause a lot of friction.
     
  32. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Would be a fantastic time to take one what with all the fun games coming out in the next couple of months... Borderlands 3, Cube World, GreedFall, The Outer Worlds, etc. I find that playing games other than the ones I'm working on tends to make me more excited to work on my own.
     
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  33. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Wow! I remember seeing an article and video on Cube World like 5 or 6 years ago and at that time it was shown as something that was basically thought of as abandoned. Awesome to see they actually got it out!
     
  34. ColleenJBrewer

    ColleenJBrewer

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    Starting a radio show sounds interesting here. Also, hats off to you as you have finished almost 99% if the game.
     
  35. aer0ace

    aer0ace

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    @angrypenguin kickin' out posts chock-full of sage advice. Well, the whole thread, really.

    @dl290485 @GarBenjamin Re: Problem solving being rewarding. I've definitely felt that way before too. And @frosted is correct. It really depends on your goals. On a hobby level, you can be completely happy with solving a gamedev problem that you were having. When you cross a bridge and decide that you are trying to release a project commercially, your goal then becomes satisfying your audience, not yourself. That's a huge difference. That last 10% (90%) of a production cycle is all about giving the audience what THEY want, even if you were super happy with your game at 90% complete. That last 10% (90%) effort is your communication tool to the player, to get them to understand how great your project is. It distills the imaginations in your head of what you "thought" your game was and lets the player know what the game actually is, to meet their expectations, not yours.

    I don't know how this helps OP, though. I just like to write.
     
  36. mountainstream

    mountainstream

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    OK, So I think I've overcome my mental block. :) For a while anyway.

    I had a break from it for a week or so. Then I was thinking, what is the minimum I could do to finish this game. Well, I could cut this bit out.. stop the character from going there.. and son on.

    Then I thought, why have I got a UI that lets you select species, sub-species, subsubs-species etc. That's crazy. Is this a game or an encyclopedia? So I took this out. And I thought, this game doesn't need all this stuff. Let's simplify the interface. Why have loads of boring animals when it could have a few interesting aliens? Why have I got chickens in a space game set in the future?

    So now I'm excited to implement some crazy looking alien creatures and plants.

    Now I've removed some of the clutter, I can focus my mind better.

    P.S.

    Is everyone getting the free games off the Epic Game store each week? I've got loads now. Probably like £400 worth of free games!
     
  37. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Dude, the chickens gotta stay. No need for such drastic measures!
     
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  38. AlanMattano

    AlanMattano

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    Like star citizen
    With Unity and medias today you can:

    Drem it
    Release it
    Enjoy it
    Make it

    The DREM rule
     
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  39. Berir

    Berir

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    I have 3 games like that, when it comes to finilising i juat give up, get borred and start something new instead ... i feel horrible about it but cant force myself to go back to finish it
     
  40. aer0ace

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    I'm grabbing them pretty regularly. Missed a few. They may be "worth" £400 (~500USD), but without 400 hours of my time to spare on it, the games are pretty worthless.
     
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  41. mountainstream

    mountainstream

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    Yeah, I missed a few too. Now I'm kicking myself.

    Best ones I got so far are:
    The Witness - fun puzzle game (bit pretentious!)
    Edith Finch - interactive story type thing
    Slime Rancher - nice graphics but kind of meh after a while
    Axiom Verge - Cool Retro, but I got stuck.
    Fez - cool if you haven't already got it
    Stories Untold - cool
    Subnautica - Nice to swim around

    Occasionally you get some duds. But overall very pleased. Haven't actually bought any games from Epic yet! But I like the way they are filling up my library. But it's kind of making me not wanting to buy anything because I get them all for free!
     
  42. mountainstream

    mountainstream

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    haha. That's like me with everything. Glad I'm not the only one!
     
  43. aer0ace

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    I bought Arkham Knight PS4 for 20USD a few months ago. Now it's 1 of 6 Batman games on Epic's current handouts.
    Also, Twitch hands out games occasionally, as long as you have an Amazon Prime account. Just an FYI.

    And these are all reasons you "can't be bothered to finish [your] game".
     
  44. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    This!