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Quitting was the best choice I've ever made.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by voltage, May 15, 2017.

  1. voltage

    voltage

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    We go into this field with huge expectations and little by little you reduce your goals. It came to the point I no longer enjoyed working on this program. I was friendless and a hermit. Went to work and stayed home the rest of the night. For a solid three years I never met anyone, didn't hang out with anyone besides my brother. Creating games was my obsession and I'm glad I gave it up. In the past 8 months, I've met a plentiful amount of new friends, got a new job, met a beautiful woman and I feel whole. Sometimes hobbies are meant to stay hobbies. For me, I realized this entire thing was a crutch that was holding me back. I grew up on video games out of social unawareness. I was home schooled during my middle school years and the only life developments I made was games. It's been fun, but it nurtured an insecurity of not connecting with others that followed me throughout my adult life.

    In summary, Unity is awesome - but I'm glad I gave it up and honestly I don't miss this. It's somewhat useless information for me now, but it's okay. I don't habitually play video games anymore, I'm more interested in people. I'm out there for fun, I'm out there to connect. If you think this hobby is making you unhappy like I did, give it up. It's okay to move on. Cya fellas.
     
  2. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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  3. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    I'm also happy for you that you found what you enjoy in life.

    For me personally, I also have tended to tip too far into the hermit-style approach to game development. But that's a choice I make consciously, and I know from experience when I am going too far with that. I offset it by going out on the town, hitting the gym and meeting people on purpose.

    I think what many creative people don't confront is the fact that, at least the way I see it, artistic things are not meant to be an escape from real life, but rather they are meant to be something that colors the way that you experience reality. Something that helps to define your ambitions, your character, your 'ideal, stylized' self. And that's supposed to enhance the way you approach life, in reality, rather than destroy your ability to deal with it.

    That's one of the reasons why I rarely play games at all, because very few games are inspiring for me in that way, they don't provide any substantial improvement to my ability to imagine something useful in a more powerful or constructive way. Rather they are just pseudo-activities that, while enjoyable, are ultimately simply a distraction from reality.

    Maybe this is just some kind of historical fantasy, but I think in the past, people who defined themselves as artists or creative in some way, had a much more self-actualized way of expressing it - i.e., their artistry did not destroy their ability to deal with the world, but rather enhanced everything that they did in it, including their social life and status. Whether or not this is the case, I think it's something that is worth striving for as a creative person - to find ways to live out the richness of your imagination, rather than using it as a replacement for doing anything useful in the world.
     
  4. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Welcome to the hobbyist life. I came to a similar realisation a couple years back.

    I still make games when I feel like it. But I no longer beat myself up when I'm not doing it. It's something I do for fun, the same as going to the movies or playing a board game.

    A normal life is actually a pretty good racket.
     
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  5. gian-reto-alig

    gian-reto-alig

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    Well, lets just say everyone has their "phases" in their lives. Sometimes you enjoy meeting new people... sometimes you grow tired of it and rather do something less social. Maybe you just overdid it and burned out. That is pretty normal for most people when intensly working on something to the point of obsession.

    Maybe you need a time out for some years, to come back to making games with a fresh perspective, and a renewed interest in it. Maybe making games just isn't for you, who knows.

    Also, giving up on a career in games usually is a good thing for most people. Unless you are going the route of being employed by a studio, the Indie / Self-employment route is a pretty difficult path for most to walk. You need to be born to be a selfemployed person, and cope with all the pressure and uncertainity that route brings with it.
    Add to that the harsh business that is trying to pay your bills with Indie games, and I think you need to be extremly talented, extremly dedicated, and extremly patient to make it work. Sadly that is not how people like Notch are portrayed in the media often... I would guess he had some pretty S***ty years before his career took off.


    Good luck with whatever you do in life from now on.... maybe you are back to Unity as a hobby in a year or five?
     
  6. Schneider21

    Schneider21

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    I would suggest people don't need to quit/abandon/give up Unity any more than they need to quit Photoshop, their saute pan, or their Craftsman electric screwdriver. These are tools, and using them is not something that in itself can damage you as a person.

    What is damaging is using the tool with the mindset, expectation, or sole intent of achieving an unrealistic goal. If you only cook because you believe making eggs every day will make you a Michelin star-level chef, or if you assemble low-cost wood crafts for selling at a local market not because you enjoy it but because you want some side money. And if you're making a game thinking it'll be a huge success, and that any amount of sacrifice is worth it to get it completed because then things will suddenly fall into place...

    I'm not happy when I work on my game to the point where my sleep is affected, and where I find myself planning out mechanics instead of focusing on the moment I'm currently sharing with my daughter. But I'm also not happy when I don't work on my game at all.

    The key to anything in life is balance. I wish you the best of luck in finding yours. And to anyone struggling to find theirs, I agree with @voltage's actual message: don't be afraid to step away from things to figure out what's most important to you.
     
  7. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    I'm somewhat similar, was somewhat socially isolated and got into programming etc and maintained my withdrawn state of existence for many years. I was somewhat trying to be an artist but through a medium that makes it quite difficult to achieve, rather than going for a more direct medium. S***loads of failures later I still tinker a little bit but have really become so disillusioned with it in general. I hang onto it like a thread but there's no denying it is just simply very difficult to make good games and it takes a lot of time and effort, and much of that effort makes it not really that much fun, for me anyway. It has been very very hard to let go of the dream and let go of the massive tidal wave of "democratization" and indie promise and potential for riches and all that. I have quit so many times.

    I recently decided that everyone else was nuts and I was the sane one, and that I will stop buying into the illusion that this is all it's cracked up to be. I've let the indie dream die and have stopped kidding myself. That has I think been the best shift I've made, because now I don't care about what everyone else is doing and am not trying to match up or fit in or go along with this whole thing. The entire game industry and what everyone else is doing is no longer of any concern to me and I'm not trying to be a part of it. I am sort of now just tinkering for hobby's sake from time to time and I feel relieved that all of the pressure to conform is off. I feel the pangs of years and years of striving somewhat wasted and that it came to almost nothing in terms of any return from the investment, other than to teach me more about what I do not want, which is somewhat valuable. One other benefit I believe I've gained is a sharpening of intellect and ability to clearly grasp logic, which I'm finding is helpful in some other areas of life now.

    I've found myself expanding into more directly artistic mediums now that I know what's closer to my heart and getting out of my intellect's attempts to drive everything. I think at this point if I do anything at all with game development it's going to be purely to make a game I want to make for myself to play and to hell with trying to please anyone else.
     
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  8. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    QFT. I don't use my art to get away from the world. I use it to express myself, my mind, my emotions (and when I say art, I include things like writing).

    And ultimately, really, the purpose of art is not to exclude oneself. The purpose of art, the expression of a mind, is actually the opposite--to connect to others, to show them your mind in a unique way. The very concept of self expression is predicated on an environment to express oneself upon--on people to express oneself to.

    The two go hand in hand.
     
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  9. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    I had the opposite direction, I was fed up being alone in a crowd, could be alone as an hermit too lol
     
  10. Ony

    Ony

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    Everyone should quit something major at least once in their lives. Multiple times even better. It does a body good.
     
  11. SteveJ

    SteveJ

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    Socialising? Hanging out with people? Eww.
     
  12. nipoco

    nipoco

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    That's stuff you can also have, when you do gamedev.

    It's ultimately up to you, what lifestyle you choose.
     
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  13. greggtwep16

    greggtwep16

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    I feel like you summed up the emotional experience of frustration, burnout, and walking away quite well. It almost doesn't matter the topic or source. Mine was the opposite (corporate to indie) but it would have been very, very similar. I'll give it a try.

    We go into the workforce with huge expectations and little by little you reduce your goals. It came to the point where I no longer enjoyed working at this place. I was trying to make a product good, which ruffled feathers and made it hard to make friends at work as almost everyone seemed to be coasting and giving minimal effort. For a solid 8 years, I never ceased to be amazed at how much politics and how little actual work was being done. For me, I realized the paycheck was a crutch that was holding me back...

    In summary, money is good - but I don't miss that place. It's been years now, if you think your job is making you unhappy like I did, give it up. It's okay to move on. Cya fellas.


    You seem to have a way with words. Regardless the source, if anyone identifies with this sentiment let it be a warning. That's not to say be foolish and act impulsively or not put plans in place to be financially or emotionally ok, but start giving serious thought that the problem might be the source of the dread and find ways to do something else with your precious time.
     
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  14. mysticfall

    mysticfall

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    I'm undergoing a similar phase in my life, and it's about creating music for me. I've been playing an electric guitar on and off for the past 25 years or so. Yeah, 25 years... more than enough time to achieve something great if you have talent and determination, of which I had neither. But I realized that too late.

    At first, I thought I could be a great musician some day, and as I happened to meet people with real talent my hope became a bit more modest, so I just wanted to be a decent guitar player.

    But that again proved to be an unattainable goal for me, because while I was repeatedly banging my head against an invisible wall which seems to be lying between me and my Muse, I had seen plenty of younger players who, despite having much less command of the instrument than me due to their lack of experience, nevertheless could create beautiful songs which I could only dream of writing myself. It looked to me, as if they were born with those songs but just had been keeping them inside until they gained sufficient skills with the instrument. Some say a good musician only need to listen to their heart, because that's where all the great melodies and harmonies are coming from. I tried to do that myself, but only heard silence.

    I had to admit that I lack sufficient talent or inspiration to become a professional player. So, I decided I should be content with being a 'hobbyist', instead. At that point, I had a full time job as a marketer and web designer, and my family's financial situation began to dwindle. So I did not have any other choice anyway.

    Since then, I've tried to hang on to it as best as I could. I always thought myself to be a creative type, so I didn't really want to grow old as a businessman. At that time, I was given a chance to switch my career to become a programmer, which I took gladly and somehow learned the required skills very fast. But I didn't think it to be the kind of work I wanted to do with my life, so I just kept trying to be an amature guitarist.

    A few more years passed, and I began to suspect if I was really enjoying playing a guitar at all, because by then practicing guitar felt more of a chore than an entertainment. My playing time had diminished sharply, as less and less I became motivated with the whole idea of becoming a guitarist. But I couldn't just let it go, because if I did... who will I become, except for a middle aged engineer (well, it's at least better than a middle aged businessman, but still...)?

    That's how I was until this year, a 40 year old software engineer, feeling lost and under motivated, and keep wondering where it all went wrong.

    But early this year, I happened to become interested in Unity. I have been a playing video games since I was a kid, and fancied about creating them myself. But such an idea never materialized until now, because I somehow thought I needed to learn C/C++ and some low level knowledge to do that.

    But I found that Unity is actually free and supports C#, which didn't look to be a too difficult language to learn because I already knew Java/Scala. So I began playing with it and it didn't take long before I realized it was something I can really enjoy doing it, and I can actually be competitive.

    So now, I could finally let go of my old dream of becoming a guitarist without feeling sorry for myself. I'll probably still play my guitar from time to time, but not like it's something I must do as I did before. But I think I could do it only when I really feel like it and maybe actually enjoy doing it this time. I wonder if it was the definition of becoming a hobbyist of something at the first place.

    As to my new found dedication, I still haven't been able to find a way to make it as my full time job, so it's still something I do mostly on weekends. And probably because I was too excited with the idea, I set myself some quite ambitious (or more like impractical) goal, so I don't think I can ever create an actual game anytime soon.

    But still, it feels like it doesn't really matter to me when or even if I could make my own game, or whether or not I'd earn some money by creating games someday. Everything about creating games feel like an exciting adventure to me, and I'm enjoying every moment of doing it.

    I know, maybe I haven't moved out of a honeymoon period yet. But I can say that at least now I don't feel sorry about myself, or feel my life was wasted, and etc. And that's an enough reason for me to pursue this path for now.

    I don't know why I'm writing all this. Sorry if I talked too much about myself. But the original post reminded me of my own burn out and walk away experience which I just had, so I justed wanted to share it.

    I can see now that sometimes you just need to let it go, and move on. Because, who knows, you might find something that could be the object of your true passion, or something for which you find yourself had real talent.

    So, good bye and good luck. I sincerely hope you might find what you really want to do with your life, if you haven't already.

    P.S. Oh, if you are kind enough to help me achieve my dreams of becoming a game developer, you can actually do so! ... I mean by writing an answer to my question below :p
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
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  15. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

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    Last edited: May 16, 2017
  16. ippdev

    ippdev

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    Socializing is overrated after you become an adult:) Being all agreeable about a bunch of bull I have no logical reason to believe sent me to the mountains years back where the deer and bear and raccoon have common sense. Now quitting something because it sucks or is taking over your life. Yeah..quit that sucker and get on with life..whatever that is. It is usually what happens when you have other plans made.
     
  17. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Shall I list them?
    • A Nobel prize winner. (But I have made real contributions to science in herbicides).
    • A knight. (That ones on the back burner).
    • A novelist. (I've got one self-published novella).
    • An artist. (I got as far as one piece in the local gallery).
    • A game developer. (I've got a couple self published games).
    • A YouTube star. (Got as far as 1.5K subscribers).
    You know, listing it out like this I'm starting to think not quitting isn't one of my problems...
     
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  18. Teila

    Teila

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    I think it all depends where you are in your life.

    I have been laid up recently due to an accident so unable to get out and spend time with friends. I must admit that I do enjoy my online Unity friends and they have kept me busy. However, a balanced life with friends outside of your workspace is a good idea. I feel a bit stir crazy to be honest. lol

    We have actually made many new friends since starting our game, some of the from the local Unity User group and others online. So not sure working on your game has to isolate you. We attend conferences, meetings, get together casually with other game developers in person, and work together as a family on our game, which has created some great family time with our teens and young adult. At an age where many kids are off doing their own thing, ours also spend time with us and we have a lot of fun. :)

    Some people hyper focus and that probably isn't a good thing if you are isolated when doing so. So probably good that you quit although maybe eventually you will be able to spend a little time with game development as a hobby. :)
     
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  19. Tzan

    Tzan

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    You just need to "quit" getting injured. :)
     
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  20. Teila

    Teila

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    Yeah, that might be a good idea. lol At least I had my first ambulance ride, what an experience! I do love experiences....if only this one did not hurt!
     
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  21. goat

    goat

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    Ugh! Sorry! I hope you heel quickly. I've had 2 ambulance rides and walked to the hospital twice. I enjoyed walking to the hospital better even those were more serious injuries as their something scary and an ambulance but if you must you must. I did take a practice ride in as a practice med-evac patient once in the military but that was fun, just being practice and all.
     
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  22. Teila

    Teila

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    I do hope I never have to do that! :) Glad it was just practice for you.
     
  23. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

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    Interesting. It sounds a bit like bridge burning. That's of course not good. Why would anyone burn a bridge they're not required to burn?

    Gives me the feeling you were lacking other priorities in your life. To the point you got fed up with the thing that was getting on your way of taking care of it. And you must of course take care of it.

    There's this pyramid of human needs, where you have things such as "pursuing inner talent" and "creativity" at the very top. But turns out those can't be achieved with lower floors of the pyramid, such as self esteem, recognition and all that. That which in turn can't be achieved without - and I believe this is what you had to take care of based on what you've said- "friends, family, loved ones", it's a very important floor of the pyramid, it must be rock solid.
    And of course there are lower more basic floors, "freedom, safety", then comes "food, water, shelter" and of course the most essential necessity of all "a steady wifi connection" which without nothing else could properly function!!

    But in all seriousness. Do give it a rest. Take care of what's important. But I guarantee you 99% of people had to quit and come back multiple times, because really it's impossible to get it right the first times, and the first times do take a long time, that's the thing. So, all in all, good decision, you were able to see what is best for you at that given time of your life. And eventually you will want to give it another try. Lower the bar, try again with less pressure, and more essential needs covered.
     
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  24. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    Is OP mixing up a long, young life of game playing (rather than other stuff young people [used to] do) with game development and Unity?

    I see both as hobbies, but vastly different in relation to goals and dedication.

    Either way - good luck on your new path forward. ;)
     
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  25. nbirko2928

    nbirko2928

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    When a hobby is making you unhappy, it's no longer a hobby, it's a toxic obsession.

    Life is all about balance, this same toxic obsession can happen with anything.
     
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  26. MitchStan

    MitchStan

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    Best post I ever read on this forum and I've been part of this community since 2006.

    I'm 57 years old and have gained some wisdom over the years. I can say with a great degree of certainty that when you turn 57 you can look back in your life and understand that this decision you made was one of the most important positive life changing choices you could have possibly made.

    A heartfelt congratulations to you and thank you for sharing. You made my day!

    Mitch
     
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  27. Elzean

    Elzean

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    Dont really like this kind of post, feels like being on Facebook... Anyway It's always the same people are never happy and blame whatever for it, make the change, feels like they did something super life changing until they are not happy again and cycle goes on. And i believe that if you got to the point that you had to "quit" entirely something you were enjoying previously then the problem is somewhere else.
     
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  28. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

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    @voltage is a long time community member that everyone knows and likes. Facebooky or not, it's nice to know what's going on with him.
     
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  29. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    Sometimes success is failure and failure is success. To succeed at something which is not right for you is a failure. To fail at something you thought was right for you but isn't is success.
     
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  30. Tomasz_Pasterski

    Tomasz_Pasterski

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    Yes obsession, you should never do anything that hard so it become obsession no matter what it is.
     
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  31. derkoi

    derkoi

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    See you again when your girl leaves you and the novelty of your friends wears off. :)

    Seriously though, have fun.
     
  32. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    I've told people this time and time again on these forums :) having a hobby with unity is wonderful and fine - you don't need to go grey finishing it. you don't need to chase AAA. I fully believe there is the possibility of mental illness because you're fed promises non stop (no fault of unity or similar) but then find yourself achieving it very very slow, it's like the world's most cunning grind mmo.

    For people who understand it's OK to stay hobbist, it's the best thing sliced bread, and for professionals, they know the pitfalls. It's there but it doesn't mean use it!

    There's lessons here on balance.
     
  33. Teila

    Teila

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    Absolutely true. We did form a company to sell art and contracting work because we needed to do that for tax purposes. But we are under no illusion that making games could replace a day job. For us it is a hobby that we hope maybe someday we can share with others. :) I think the illusion that one can pick up Unity and make enough money to quit their job brings a lot of disappointment to many. I know folks who have made it work but they usually have a spouse/partner who brings home the bacon.

    Hobbies are supposed to be fun. If they are not, then move on. However...not everyone has a difficult time balancing life and hobbies. :)
     
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  34. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

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    But that's real life man. Like in the 60s, or 70s, when rock'n'roll suddenly became popular. And then you had all these groups of people who thought their band was "going to make it" ... until of course, they all had to get real jobs at offices and be all serious all day. But secretly they are all rockers, and get together and still play in basements. To this day, if you lower the volume of your radio playing the hideous nightly reggaeton and listen carefully out the window, you can still hear their muffled wicked tunes!

    So I really don't see what's the problem if you truly enjoy making games. If you're going to make the game anyway, once you actually finish it, instead of just give it away free, add some harmless iap here and there. Or you know what? Just put it for free ... keep making small free games, and see if you can making something popular, for the joy of making people happy. Once people are happy put lots of iaps!! No drama.
     
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  35. Teila

    Teila

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    Yes, promises are always fed to people about a better life doing this or that. Sadly, it is those already sensitive folks who are the ones who feel battered and bruised if those promises are not fulfilled. I am not sure anything can be done to change that.

    I have four kids, one a dreamer who doesn't realize her own strengths and weaknesses so is always failing, another who is too afraid to try so rarely finishes anything, one who thinks she is already fabulous and can do anything (and probably will) and the other who is pragmatic and sensible and will probably make tons of money and take of us in our old age. LOL

    Only the second two came to us as infants so it make sense why their outlook on life is different, but I think everyone is different based on their situations and experiences.

    The need to protect people from themselves is admirable, but it almost never works. Some will listen, but most have to find out the hard way. It is sad for some, but I am not sure anything we say here is going to help.
     
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  36. tiggus

    tiggus

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    Good realization and good post. Looking at all the replies you can see you are definitely not alone. Still, learning game development for a long period(years) has value so it is not a waste, now you're a little wiser and have all this development experience that might be useful in unexpected circumstances. Likely someday you'll return to it with a healthier mindset when the time is right.
     
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  37. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    The only reason I can keep working on unity is because of my inheritance and I made a killing in the real estate-market. Where I dont have any mortgage and get by enough money from my passive investments to squeak by without doing anything. Even my condo value has gone up 100k in value in the last 3 months. Now I am working at a startup 3 days a week for a little extra money and just making my games for fun and i am still going to try and make them successful but I dont have to care.
     
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  38. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

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    That's very good. Though do you rely mostly on real estate just to squeak by? Or do you also get a solid personal income with your startup company?

    Making a living from making games do seem to take a looooooooooong time. Even for those in a "hurry". Don't you fear a potential housing bubble collapse along the way, like happened in USA?
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  39. fire7side

    fire7side

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    I'm going to give it up, right after I make my next great game!
     
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