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High School Student with High Goals -- Need Advice


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#21 Riztro   Members   -  Reputation: 240

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:42 AM

Wow!

 

All you guys are so awesome offering up all this advice. Based on what you guys have said, I have figured out I am kinda in "the grind" part of my project, where I am setting up a lower level stuff that isn't that fun. I also have figured out that I am drifting to YouTube because it is passive thinking (thanks warnexus) and that in order to get to work I should devout at least 30 minutes a day to programming with the internet off so that I can avoid distractions. I have also decided that I should keep my grades up because it seems as though there are pros to keeping them up and it doesn't take that much more effort for me to do that. I will also start focusing on the fact that I am working on my game because I want to work on it, not because I have to for money or college opportunities :D

 

Thanks everyone! I am hoping to feel less stressed and more accomplished with all this advice

Brent



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#22 Tim Cooper   Members   -  Reputation: 359

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:22 PM

Thought I'd mention something on the drive and getting stuff done side of things. I came across the Pomodoro Technique a few years back and, while I hate the name for some reason, it was a pretty effective way of helping get work done and building the habit of working effectively.

 

http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/get-started/

 

There are a number of time management techniques out there so if you like the idea of it, but this one doesn't work for you, have a look round for others. Ha, just realised this'll work for your studies as well as your development projects. Time management is one of those things most students are pretty rubbish at, so if you want an easy advantage over the average students then time management and a good work ethic would be it :)

 

On the money making side of things, web and mobile development currently seem to offer the best opportunities for solo projects or freelancing simply because they're (still) a growth market that's rapidly changing. Plus, it's fairly easy to get something simple but helpful and useful out in the market. Where I work we like to see an interviewee who has working software in their portfolio, released or not. More are cropping up who can simply point at an app-store and say "there's mine". No matter how simple the app, it still looks pretty good.

 

Hope that helps!


Tim Cooper - software developer, project manager and aspiring iPhone app developer.
 

Creative Shadows Ltd - My company website

 

iTunes Link - Doodlemate - Create animated gif's from your iPhone.

iTunes Link - Aeolus / Aeolus Lite - Land balloons in a simple, fun and slightly addictive game.


#23 rocklobster   Members   -  Reputation: 415

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:13 PM

Hello everyone,

I need some advice from you all. I have two problems, one is lack of money and one is lack of drive.

I am a Sophomore High School student who wants to be successful early and is able to go to Stanford. From what I understand Stanford is looking only for the best, so in order to be "the best" I am trying to hold a 4.1+ GPA, trying to make some video games that I can sell so Stanford can see that I show initiative and so that they can see that I can program, and I am trying to play sports at the same time to show that I am a well rounded student (and I enjoy them). I enjoy making games and programming. I like to use C++ and OpenGL and when I was learning and just messing around with that language and library in middle school, I had no problems (probably because I had more time and was less stressed). Now I have problems.

I am having problems with drive. I have this game idea that I like and have been working on but I think these high aspirations of mine are not allowing me to apply myself to programming because I am too busy (and stressed) with school and sports. I go to school at around 8 and I get home after sports at around 5:30. I have plenty of time till bed, but I just don't have the drive to work on my self produced projects (my game for example). Does anyone have any ideas as to why I can't seem to hop onto my computer and start programming? I always seem to drift to youtube and just start watching videos there. I just don't have any will power at this point in the day to push myself to start programming. If I ever do start, I enjoy it, but I just can't seem to start. Does anyone have any advice for me?

Also being a high school student and soon to be college student, I need money. I am looking to use my intermediate programming abilities to make some extra cash and my video game endeavors are not producing any income at the moment. I have looked at freelancing on freelancer.com but it seems as though the amounts are always low and the bids are always in before I even have a chance to compete. So is there any other site or way I can use my programming abilities to make some extra cash? I have looked locally but there isn't much.

Thankyou,
Brent

 

Maybe it's because you are mentally and physically drained after such a long day, and you don't have the energy left for your own projects? If this was the case I would definitely prioritise my activities. I'd have gone crazy at university If I never had a side project I could spend time during the week to keep my mind of university work. 

 

Also take some value from what this person said:

 

Personal satisfaction is so much better than reaching milestones set by society.

 

Which doesn't mean drop everything, but find a nice balance to keep yourself mentally healthy and satisfied. 



#24 Jedy   Members   -  Reputation: 264

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:24 AM

I'm having similar issues. Anyhow I see a significant difference ( even though I have no idea how particularly important this is ) - you don't sound half as fired up as I was when I was creating my first game ( but it's a forum - how much could I get from 5 lines of text ).

Anyway. I'm having concentration issues ( doesn't anyone with all the "social [insert any random word here]" stuff ). Basically most of the social media just feels way more rewarding to ourselves than it actually is, and work ( or anything meaningful ) on the other hand just doesn't give the same amount of enjoyment, pride, satisfaction or whatever.

The question : How work could grant a comparable level of satisfaction to social media or games?

The answer : Hardly. But you can trick your mind with artificial goals and achievements to spice things up and balance the scales. ( Some games tend to do that - achievements which basically give you nothing but the "pride" of finishing that )

I myself use a couple of things to improve my concentration on important things and keep myself doing them on a regular basis.

Set Goals. Split them into multiple smaller goals. Than split those some more. Finally start doing the smallest ones.
Really easy thing to do, but it helps you keep your focus - no overwhelming 2 month target in front of you, just a small task for the next 40 minutes.

( Example in games : Quests - they usually are split into smaller fragments, and take the pain of dull grinding for level )

Set Timers. Try Pomodoro. Assign your goals a time limit. Challenge yourself! 
( Example in games : Timed Quests - enough said )

Use a task management system. Try Kanban or something more professionally oriented as Asana. They are great to track your progress.
( Example in games : Various journals, lists of completed achievements, gold, gear, loot acquired during gameplay )

Try HabitRPG. It's a brand new product still in its baby steps, but the concept is brilliant. A game helping you to develop your habits, which basically helps you reward yourself for following a routine specified by yourself.
( It's a game. I basically have energy drinks and sweets, which I could afford buying if I follow my routine )

Anyway - I'm using Asana, Pomodoro and HabitRPG successfully for some time now and I'm pretty happy with my concentration and productivity improvements.

I've build most of those with the idea of Gamification in mind. Basically assigning artificial meaning and value to regular tasks.

Some Links : 
Pomodoro Timers - http://gigaom.com/2010/11/10/9-free-pomodoro-timers/
Asana - http://www.asana.com
HabitRPG - https://habitrpg.com/
Gamification - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamification

 

I hope that helps! 
Jedy


PS : I hope I didn't get too much out of topic and too general in my answer. 



#25 Riztro   Members   -  Reputation: 240

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:38 AM

I'm having similar issues. Anyhow I see a significant difference ( even though I have no idea how particularly important this is ) - you don't sound half as fired up as I was when I was creating my first game ( but it's a forum - how much could I get from 5 lines of text ).

Anyway. I'm having concentration issues ( doesn't anyone with all the "social [insert any random word here]" stuff ). Basically most of the social media just feels way more rewarding to ourselves than it actually is, and work ( or anything meaningful ) on the other hand just doesn't give the same amount of enjoyment, pride, satisfaction or whatever.

The question : How work could grant a comparable level of satisfaction to social media or games?

The answer : Hardly. But you can trick your mind with artificial goals and achievements to spice things up and balance the scales. ( Some games tend to do that - achievements which basically give you nothing but the "pride" of finishing that )

I myself use a couple of things to improve my concentration on important things and keep myself doing them on a regular basis.

Set Goals. Split them into multiple smaller goals. Than split those some more. Finally start doing the smallest ones.
Really easy thing to do, but it helps you keep your focus - no overwhelming 2 month target in front of you, just a small task for the next 40 minutes.

( Example in games : Quests - they usually are split into smaller fragments, and take the pain of dull grinding for level )

Set Timers. Try Pomodoro. Assign your goals a time limit. Challenge yourself! 
( Example in games : Timed Quests - enough said )

Use a task management system. Try Kanban or something more professionally oriented as Asana. They are great to track your progress.
( Example in games : Various journals, lists of completed achievements, gold, gear, loot acquired during gameplay )

Try HabitRPG. It's a brand new product still in its baby steps, but the concept is brilliant. A game helping you to develop your habits, which basically helps you reward yourself for following a routine specified by yourself.
( It's a game. I basically have energy drinks and sweets, which I could afford buying if I follow my routine )

Anyway - I'm using Asana, Pomodoro and HabitRPG successfully for some time now and I'm pretty happy with my concentration and productivity improvements.

I've build most of those with the idea of Gamification in mind. Basically assigning artificial meaning and value to regular tasks.

Some Links : 
Pomodoro Timers - http://gigaom.com/2010/11/10/9-free-pomodoro-timers/
Asana - http://www.asana.com
HabitRPG - https://habitrpg.com/
Gamification - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamification

 

I hope that helps! 
Jedy


PS : I hope I didn't get too much out of topic and too general in my answer. 

I will definitely check those things out. I have used trello in the past and have looked into promodoro but didn't quite understand it. I will check again though! As for HabitRPG, I have never heard of it and I will be sure to check it out :D.

 

And yes, you have seen my problem, I can't really get excited about my game in its current stage. I am just creating something that doesn't interest me that much in this point of my games development (a rural farm generator, which is weird because I was very fired up about the random terrain generator when I was making it). I think I have tricked myself into thinking that programming is too much work and I think I need a daily inspiration (any ideas). I think my game idea is pretty cool though :D. And this isn't my first attempt at a game. I have made a little game called pikin sticks before and I also tried to create a 3D Voxel based Zombie survival game but quickly stopped because I realized it was already made and the game play concept just didn't really work.

 

So yeah, hopefully I will get interested/inspired again :P. Then I can implement those cool things you posted.



#26 Jedy   Members   -  Reputation: 264

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:05 AM

Well excitement out of your game will come will come as soon you're able to consider it a game. Basically if you're making a game designing mechanics and systems won't be comparably entertaining as the game itself when you've set up your mind for a game. A quick "fix" for that is rewarding yourself with fragments of the game as soon as possible. Get to the playable part ASAP even with close to no gameplay at all. visually seeing the results and being able to play around with them helps A LOT! I suggest you to see the Brett Victor talk "Inventing on principle". PS : I can't currently provide you with links as I'm writing from my phone. Sorry about that.

#27 Riztro   Members   -  Reputation: 240

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:13 AM

Well excitement out of your game will come will come as soon you're able to consider it a game. Basically if you're making a game designing mechanics and systems won't be comparably entertaining as the game itself when you've set up your mind for a game. A quick "fix" for that is rewarding yourself with fragments of the game as soon as possible. Get to the playable part ASAP even with close to no gameplay at all. visually seeing the results and being able to play around with them helps A LOT! I suggest you to see the Brett Victor talk "Inventing on principle". PS : I can't currently provide you with links as I'm writing from my phone. Sorry about that.

Well I have the tile renderer working and I can load randomly generated map into the game. Does that count? Haha biggrin.png

 

Also I have gotten trello up and running (asana alternative). I really like it and hopefully it will allow me to manage my time better. I also have been looking into the pomodoro technique, have a timer on my phone for it! And the RPG concept looks cool for the HabitRPG site, but it doesn't quite look ready for full use yet.

 

Also I like trello and promodoro because I can use it on my phone while keeping my internet off so that I can use the 25 minutes (might raise to 30) to code without distractions.


Edited by Riztro, 21 January 2013 - 12:44 PM.


#28 PixUnit   Members   -  Reputation: 207

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:47 PM

Priorities your goals, if the game you are making is not on the top of the agenda it is going to take a long time to make and little work is going to be done ( a sloppy job) .
I started out looking for people with common interests and knowledge, happily two of my high-school friends shared the same passion for game making and such material.
Personally, I think more people gives you more of a shot of getting the project done, when somebody gets "issues" the rest of us keep on working and persuading the issued one to work as well. Its quicker and everyone can learn an aspect of the development process better then the others, thus working more efficiently and making swift
progress.
And it used to be a lot harder back when i was working alone, when you lose motivation or cant solve a problem you just stop all progress and it takes ages for you to go on further. So essentially a good team makes everything possible, if you have that then you are on the right path.

PS: When you get into it, you just cant stop. smile.png


@BusyBeePixUnit

http://www.pixunit.com

Edited by PixUnit, 21 January 2013 - 04:47 PM.





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