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#5L. Spiro  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 16597

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 04:15 PM

Define “finishing a game” as apposed to “prototypes, technology demos, and applications”.
As in, what constitutes a “game” to you, and are you sure you’re not setting the bar too high for a single person?

My first game was either a number-guessing game or a 2-player TI-81 ship game (so long ago I forgot which came first).
One didn’t have graphics at all and 1 had shit-tastic graphics.  They were still games.

Later I did another ship game in DOS with lines for graphics.  It was a game.

Later I did several Tetris clones.  They were “finished games”, simple as they were.

Are you saying that you have been programming for 54.36968326 years and never completed even a Tetris clone or a text-based game (A)?
Or are you saying you don’t consider them to be games because they are “too simple” and don’t have “good-enough graphics” (B)?

If it is A, you have some issues.  No one doesn’t do Tetris or Pac Man or Pong at some point.  And if you have never even tried one of these and then worried about never having finished a game, you have a major problem, because finishing one of these is 3 days away.
If you are worried about never having finished a game yet these are only 3 days out of the 39.3798723 years you have been programming: serious issues, beyond help, sorry.

I am assuming your problem is B.  That you’ve done the clones but you just don’t consider them games because you’ve set the bar too high.

Here is a hint: In that case I’ve never finished a game of my own either.

Either lower the bar to within reason for a single person or stop worrying about not finishing anything.
If you insist on keeping the bar too high, stop being concerned about motivation and focus on having fun.  Who cares if you didn’t write Doom 8 all by yourself?

You may very well find that your interests lie elsewhere.
I have tried 3 times now to make the ultimate space shooter and always just stop after getting a ship moving on the screen and maybe an asteroid to shoot.
It turns out, I really love the low-level programming more than the game programming, so I focus on making engines, not games.

Look at what you have finished and what you have rated as boring vs. fun.
It seems to me you have more fun focusing on the low-level things rather than the gameplay.

Hint hint?

It doesn’t look to me as though you are a game programmer at all.  You appear to be an engine programmer.
So why are you beating yourself up for not finishing games?  In fact, why are you even trying?

L. Spiro

[EDIT]
#1: Part of the fun is the spontaneity. Having a vague idea of the overall picture and deciding on-a-whim what part you want to do next and then mentally refining that part. My motivation wains here-and-there, so I randomly jump into a new part and keep things fresh. But it’s partly fresh because you haven’t thought about the new task too much.
#2: Having a huge list of undone features sitting in front of you undoubtedly makes a reality just how much work is ahead of you.
Ignorance is bliss.
Without a measurement of how much work is ahead of you, you may often find that by the time you realize just how much work there was, most of it has already been done. Besides, I’ve always found that trying to put all this out ahead of time is futile—you always figure out some new task along the way etc.

It may just be me, but your list is a major buzz-kill. Your fun hobby looks like a menial job task now.
[/EDIT]

Edited by L. Spiro, 21 August 2014 - 06:06 AM.

#6Grahor  Members   -  Reputation: 131

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:36 AM

For me, the only "finished" game is the game that was released. If that's your definition, you definitely should not plan on "medium sized games" - start with "very small game". Something that will be fun to play for a kid, or for adult, for half an hour. Finish it and release it on some platform, for free, of course, since it'll unlikely it'll worth actual money for buyers, eh. May be some adverts there, although you ain't gonna be rich from that.

But at LEAST you will know that it will take to actually finish a game, and will know the process from start to finish, and will know what it takes to make a game.

#7Finalspace  Members   -  Reputation: 404

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 01:09 PM

I am not sure where you get that number from @L. Spiro, but "54.36968326 years" seriously? I am near at a age of 32 right now and do coding since i was 6 or 7. So to  summarize it up, i got over 20 years of programming experience - maybe a bit more, because even as a kid i was fooling around with code instead of playing outside which was not good always.

But to get back at the actual topic: i have made prototypes for tons of clones, breakouts, platformers, rpgs, card-games etc. and this clones was really simple and was near at completion but was suffering from motivation loss. And with completion i mean i game with a definitive start and a end + acceptable but some sort of graphics and whats most important - a game which is fun to play!

But you would not believe what happened today at work - i finished a game. A fairly small one physics-like breakout game, but i completely finished it.

But the downside - it was not a project for myself - either a easter-egg for our business intelligence software at work -.-

#8Finalspace  Members   -  Reputation: 404

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 02:31 PM

Hard to say exactly what the issue is. It seems you have 75% of it solved already just by recognizing a weakness you may have. You do seem pretty organized, and maybe that's part of your frustration, that you're an organized person, and can't figure out why you can't quite get to the end of the product.

Just taking a guess, I'd say you get more satisfaction starting with a blank screen and starting to make things appear and work correctly. Once you get to the end, you're fixing less noticeable bugs and are getting less satisfaction from it. One idea is to maybe help out an aspiring game dev by working with them to do these smaller tasks. It may be more fun for you to help someone else, plus it will give them some experience, as well.

As far as the organization, maybe look into a work item tracker. http://trac.edgewall.org/ is a free one. I haven't used it, but I've heard good things about it.

Hmm i am not sure, i dont think to just start from scratch has more satisfaction than extending an more advanced one for me, but one thing which i havent tried to create a game with one or more developers yet. Maybe i can try that.

I wonder if your lack of motivation is in part because you've already decided what your level of motivation is going to be when you say stuff like "boring", "somehow boring", and "rather boring". What was the point of labeling that task as such? Does this actually help you in some way when it comes time to approach the particular task? If it doesn't add some sort of value to your project organization get rid of it.

Do you really want to make games or would you actually rather be making tech demos? Nothing wrong with making tech demos if that's what you'd rather be doing.

Do you really need the various features you've identified in your game? Can you make a game out of what you already have? Can you organize your project such that you don't need everything on your list completed to see how what you do have will build on to your larger game?

That todo-list is an actual experiement to improve my organization of my current game project. Also i had read somewhere that marking tasks what state of interesting it is, may be a good idea or not... i am not sure about that. Its just a try.

I have made so many tech-demos in my programmers-life - i dont want to do that anymore. So to answer that question i really want to make a game - also i have a vision about creating a platformer game which is based upon some ideas from my childhood (I and a good friend of mine was drawing 2d platformer games on plain paper and use our imaginary and fingers to play it). There was so many great ideas in it, so that i really want that to create a game out of it.

Edited by Finalspace, 21 August 2014 - 02:41 PM.

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 02:59 PM

I think some developers get into a mindset that creating a complete game is largely a matter of writing code.  That's actually fairly far from the truth. A non-trivial game requires a significant amount of Design, Art, Audio, Playtesting, and general Management, and if it's something you intend to actually release for sale, then some form of Marketing is necessary as well.  Obviously, a one-man team has to wear all those hats and any project inevitably reaches a point where the development portion of the project is mostly complete while many other aspects aren't anywhere near complete.  If you're labeling development tasks in degrees of boredom, it's quite possible you just aren't cut out to be a one-man team.

#10Finalspace  Members   -  Reputation: 404

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 01:05 AM

I think some developers get into a mindset that creating a complete game is largely a matter of writing code.  That's actually fairly far from the truth. A non-trivial game requires a significant amount of Design, Art, Audio, Playtesting, and general Management, and if it's something you intend to actually release for sale, then some form of Marketing is necessary as well.  Obviously, a one-man team has to wear all those hats and any project inevitably reaches a point where the development portion of the project is mostly complete while many other aspects aren't anywhere near complete.  If you're labeling development tasks in degrees of boredom, it's quite possible you just aren't cut out to be a one-man team.

Yeah i know that - i had never worked in a game company before, but i have read so many books, watched tons of videos, including making of´s, documentaries etc. I think i have a pretty good understanding what it takes to make a game and i now what i am capable of and what i am not.

For example, story-telling is definitely not a strong point of me and i am not that great at making art (textures, sound), but for a prototype it should be sufficient.

I think i remove the funniness part, it seems it just distract me too much and i need to use a ticket system instead of plain text files.

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