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Question for Experts, especially for Beginners: Motivation, how NOT to lose it?


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#1 Night Lone   Members   -  Reputation: 484

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 05:11 PM

Okay, a big question to everyone who has produced a successful game (I'll let you decide what "successful" means).

How do you NOT lose Motivation?

 

Simple question, but I know the answer is probably complicated. I have learned many programming languages, many programmers go to me for help. But I actually have a problem staying motivated on a project!! So, for all you experts out there, how do you manage to keep your motivation, at least long enough to finished a half decent game?!

 

I'm sure I'm not the only programmer, beginner or not, who has a tough time staying motivated and on track making a game!

 

Looking forward to your answers, and I really hope this will help other programmers, beginners and not, to learn a good way to stay motivated!


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#2 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5953

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 05:13 PM

Okay, a big question to everyone who has produced a successful game (I'll let you decide what "successful" means).

How do you NOT lose Motivation?

 

Simple question, but I know the answer is probably complicated. I have learned many programming languages, many programmers go to me for help. But I actually have a problem staying motivated on a project!! So, for all you experts out there, how do you manage to keep your motivation, at least long enough to finished a half decent game?!

 

I'm sure I'm not the only programmer, beginner or not, who has a tough time staying motivated and on track making a game!

 

Looking forward to your answers, and I really hope this will help other programmers, beginners and not, to learn a good way to stay motivated!

 

Keep the scope small and don't work alone (Its far more fun to work with friends)


I don't suffer from insanity, I'm enjoying every minute of it.
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

#3 SeanMiddleditch   Members   -  Reputation: 4677

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 06:17 PM

don't work alone (Its far more fun to work with friends)


This. I have known only very, very few folks to actually finish a game project on their own.

Not just games, either. Work-out regimes, quitting smoking, etc. all requires a group in most cases.

Individual motivation is a finite resource, but motivation multiplies in groups, allowing it to become an essentially unlimited resource.

If you don't have a group to work with, check for local game jams, game dev clubs, or join an Internet community (starting your own is a fools' errand, though).

#4 fir   Members   -  Reputation: -448

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 06:18 PM

I have lost it very seriously - but i regained it - usually there is just a need for heavy vacaton and resting then preferbly yet to get bored - then you can go again ;/


Edited by fir, 19 June 2014 - 06:22 PM.


#5 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 9741

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 09:39 PM

Don't work in software.

 

I say that not entirely in jest. The ambition to get a nice cushy day job in software, and spend your nights writing games is a common one, and it doesn't work out for very many people - splitting your motivation across a day job and a full-time hobby is pretty damn hard.


Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#6 ApochPiQ   Moderators   -  Reputation: 14623

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 09:51 PM

Your question assumes that experts are somehow more motivated than beginners.

I've personally found zero correlation between amount of experience, amount of skill, and amount of motivation at a given moment. Yes, getting good requires a lot of motivation, but a lot of people get to a certain point and then coast for the rest of their careers.

There are a lot of highly unmotivated experts out there.


I think what you really want to know is how people who produce work survive the lack of motivation. That's got as many answers as there are people, but the general theme is: suck it up and ship product. Sometimes you don't want to do it. If it's a hobby, fine; go do something else, doesn't matter as long as you're enjoying yourself. If it's a job, suck it up and ship product.

#7 VirginRed   Members   -  Reputation: 752

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 02:09 AM

Keep away what can ruin your motivation: client (if it's work-for-hire).

 

No matter if it's for a leaving or an hobby, detach yourself from your project sometimes! It help to come back at it with a fresh view. 

 

Show you project! Feedback can be really motivating and give inspiration :) 

 

It already has been said but working with good group is more motivating than anything!


Communication is not a job. It's a passion! Discover Algo-Bot :)


#8 Herwin P   Members   -  Reputation: 631

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 05:27 AM

I'm not an expert, but I've been working on web development projects before. One of them was for the government, and I had always hated government stuff, so it really took none of my interest. Not to mention that I was a new guy and the project documentation sucked. Had to do it because it's my job, so I did it anyway, and that's the point. Actually doing something. When you're messing with lines of code, you will find that solving problems one by one is fun. To actually achieve something is satisfying, and it keeps driving someone forward.

 

It's similar with other creative works like fiction writing. You're less likely to find inspiration or motivation when you're not facing a piece of paper. In most cases, creativity happens when you're writing. You may think like, "Ah, what if it goes like this, and this, and that," during the process. If you just wait for inspiration to come, it won't come. That's what professional writers do, someone told me. Write even though they're not feeling motivated. Don't wait for it, don't beg for it, but earn it.

 

So, get that project of yours and force yourself to code something. You will get motivated as you achieve one small thing after another. It's hard to move a giant boulder at first, but things will be easy once you can get it rolling... except for stopping it from crushing your puppy flat into the dirt. ._.



#9 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6943

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 05:46 AM

Let me start by a shameless plug.

I've written an article on Gamedev about how to remain motivated during indie development.

 

Essentially, my system revolves around consistent development and helping you build a "system". In essence, it slowly forces you to incorporate a development cycle into your life cycle, until it feels natural and can't simply be skipped altogether. After a while it DOES become a habit and is much more satisfying.

 

That being said, your original post seems to be hinting not specifically at how to remain motivated to develop, but to remain motivated by a single project. While I think the above guide is still applicable, I see a few nuances.

 

I'd like to turn the question around and ask "why would I stop working on this game?". You'd probably have to come up with a list of reasons why you think this isn't worth your time, and have a number of "cost-of-option" circumstances to analyze. Maybe it is that you do have something better to be working on at that precise moment in time. It did happen to me, but I tend to return to any worthwhile project later (such as now, resuming work on a 3 months hiatus project).

 

Also, there can be no expert at motivation, just individuals that know themselves better and understanding how their brain works and coping with it. That being said, without being an existentialist, I don't believe everyone's brain is wired the same way, so what works for me (as per the above) may not work for you. I strongly believe however that, a system, is a solution that is nearly universal. Afterall, that's why many of us choose to go to work from 8 to 5!



#10 Night Lone   Members   -  Reputation: 484

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 10:06 AM

Let me start by a shameless plug.

I've written an article on Gamedev about how to remain motivated during indie development.

I read that when it came out! Tried it actually, kinda worked, until my normal motivation killers came >.<

 


Keep away what can ruin your motivation: client (if it's work-for-hire).

 

No matter if it's for a leaving or an hobby, detach yourself from your project sometimes! It help to come back at it with a fresh view. 

 

Show you project! Feedback can be really motivating and give inspiration smile.png

 

It already has been said but working with good group is more motivating than anything!

I like the list you got there!


There are a lot of highly unmotivated experts out there.

Okay, I guess I was Assuming a bit TOO much wasn't I? rolleyes.gif Whoops!

 

Anyhow, Thanks for all the replies so far; Keep them coming! I hope everyone who reads this learns a thing or two (including me >.<)


Jack of all trades

Master of none


#11 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6943

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 08:05 PM


I read that when it came out! Tried it actually, kinda worked, until my normal motivation killers came >.<
 

 

Did you use the checklist approach? I know I'm one to fall prey to demotivation and I happen to find something as simple as checkmarks on a trello list to be particularly satisfying (especially when I kill that 'refactor your shit to use proper getters!' or 'encapsulation rules shouldn't be broken asshole!' item off the list!)

 

Also, your second quote is not from me. Something must've gone wrong when you multi-selected.


Edited by Orymus3, 20 June 2014 - 08:06 PM.





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