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New and old games where to start development and how to stay motivated?

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Hello When I start to think about where to start and what to start with when trying to plan an actual game it gets quite difficult. Were does one start and how does one stay motivated? The problem is sins I started programming anything is that when things take to long and results are to few, is that I loose motivation/interest. How do I keep on going?

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Well whenever i get a little disheartened with programming,
its usually because i get a too ahead of myself and start thinking of the project as a huge problem. All it takes to get me excited again is to sit down and concentrate on one small problem and solve it. Then i get the warm fuzzy feeling of accomplishment and move on to other things.

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Interesting KimPetersen

But faced with all the new titles out there, original and interesting idea is hard to come by. Sitting down and planning a game takes time and as we have seen that a good game takes more than 9 months and anything less than 9 months is an abortion.

So what if what is needed is more that motivation? How can the little guy make his/her dream come true?

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As said before, concentrate on small problems instead of the big picture. Limit your project size to another Tetris clone or something like this. Than write down your ideas, devide it into components and conquer them:-) When doing so, motivation comes for free because you have small milestones that can be reached within a relativly short amount of time.

When you finished your Tetris - let's say in about 2 months - think about additional features and enhancements (better graphic, more features, new soundtrack, switch from 2D to 3D, redesign your engine to make it more general, etc.) After finishing your second version you can consider building up a completly new engine from scratch introducing all your new know-how to build - let's say - a multiplayer game or anything bigger (perhaps in a small team of 2-4 members). It's up to you! But don't forget, starting with a too big project won't motivate you on the long run - as a result, your project will probably fail.

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Games really have to take at least 9 months? There are plenty good games which have taken less time. There's a competition over at remakes.org which is coming to an end - this spanned 3 months and looks like producing some excellent stuff. Like most remakers, I strongly recommend that you don't do Tetris, Pacman or any other game that's been done 100 times already because no one will play it - there are loads more old games out there needing the 21st Century treatment.

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Before you start a game project you have to design carefully all the parts of your game. You have to break the project in small parts and concentrate in that.

If you get stuck with something, for example your render code, you should do something else like coding the music/sound code or maybe create your game art.
This will help you to get going, without being frustrated.

Another thing you can do is to remove parts of the code that don’t work and test them separately. For example if your font engine doesn’t work and you don’t know what is happening with all the game parts (graphics, input, sound, scripting etc..), just make a simple application and test only the font engine. If you fix the bugs or find that is working, just put the code back into the game engine and see if it’s working. If is not working just look the code that uses the font engine so you can find the bugs/problems.

Also when you start a new project, don’t start from scratch. If you make a breakout clone you can use your old pong clone code and modify it. So you don’t have to do the same thing again and most important you see the results faster because you have a working code for base.

Finally always have debug code into your projects, this may include writing info into a file, some message boxes or writing text into the screen. You need to know what’s happening behind the scene!

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It can be difficult to keep motivated, particularly with something that will not produce results, in your eyes, for a LONG time. What I do is I keep in FOCUS what I want to achieve - stay positive to your goal (negative thoughts should only come into play when thinking about where you are now and what opportunities you'll miss if you don't shake off the lazy attitude!). Also, don't try and do everything at once - do little steps at a time 'cause you'll achieve these much quicker resulting in spates of joy with each accomplishment!. Good luck.

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as the others said... when i hit a motivation low last week i solved a smaller problem. in the following wave of euphoria i solved parts of the bigger problem and i'm now confident that i can solve it completely.
there were many times when i thought i couldnt finish the project and when i wished i would have rather made a 2d game but if you never give up then you can lear the most when you choose the hard way imo. i always choose a project which is ahead of me but not too much.

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