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mike25025

Finishing my engine (problems with motivation)

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I've finally got a game engine design that will work well. I have all of the interfaces finished and now I have to implement everything. Its a lot of code that needs to be written. The stress is too much for me. I just cant stay motivated long enough to finish any part of it. Im not sure what I should do. How can I say motivated? Anyone else have this problem? What did you do?

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Quote:
I've finally got a game engine design that will work well. I have all of the interfaces finished and now I have to implement everything.


Wait, how do you know it will work well? Right now I get the impression that you have planned it all out, but have not actually made it and tried out the concepts you are thinking about. The problem is that a lot of things that you think will work fine, 99% of the time don't. I just had an idea that I was working on, the self managing objects.

I just wrote like 3 variations of it - in the past 3 days I've spent 45 total hours on it - yes, 45/72 hrs! It was a failure of concept because one of the most vital parts that it used would not work in the way I designed it. So you know what I did? I went to where I failed at, and figured that out first, to which, I did all tonight in a matter of hours, with the help of others [smile].

Quote:
It's a lot of code that needs to be written.


You have no idea! It's an engine! Of course it's going to be a lot. I mean I've written more engines (frameworks) then I can remember, none to which I have finished, but I have all the code laying around, it's a lot of freaking code man!

Quote:
The stress is too much for me. I just cant stay motivated long enough to finish any part of it. Im not sure what I should do.


Hold up. Why are you making an engine for? This programming is supposed to be Fun, not stressful! You should be happy that you have made a plan and are now following through with it. They key is to break it down and work on various parts. You don't have to sit down and do it all at once, you will burn out. I know I am immune to that, for I sit down and just code for 10+ hours at a time [lol], but I know how anyone else would get tired from that.

Quote:
How can I say motivated? Anyone else have this problem? What did you do?


Best way to stay motivated is to set your goals and enjoy when you reach them. For instance, let's say you want to get the font stuff done in a few weeks. Let's say you do, then marvel at the fact you just made something. Hey it's far from finished, but you learn to crawl before you walk. You should progress with your design and be more motivated as you see your goal closer and closer, I mean yea, it takes time, but times flies.

You want to stay motivated? Talk about yout ideas with other people. A lot of times programmers get in a mode that they don't talk out what they are doing, so they end up building up all the stress and stuff and burn out more quickly. Who knows, someone may be able to give you an idea that you never had before.

You say you have a good design that will work? hell, share it with me [grin]. I don't have anything like that done in the past few years I've been programming. I'm just now working on one aspect to what I want to be my engine, and I've put an unnatural amount of programming into my own different projects and have nothing to show from them - I just have the experience. So you definitly have me beat there.

So, cheer up! Enjoy yourself! If things get to much take a break, your code won't just leave you, although I'd worry if you had visual source safe...[lol]. Anyways, feel free to ask/comment/request anything that I've said. I'm always open to PM's and almost always on GD (I know I have no life [smile]). If you want to post here, that's cool too, I have tons of programming philosophy just dying to get out. Best of luck!

- Drew

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Yep Drew you are right, I am also working on my engine, but there is no motivation problem. Maybe because I worked so much and stopping the work is just forgetting 3 months of work :(. I didn'tt had a clear concept , I knew that it would not work from the start, so I just made a different classes that had standard functions, and worked on the implementation. Currently I am making particle system, it's almost finished , it didn't take quite allot of time because the basic things like - movement , collision detection , drawing - are structured and tested , so it's just basic copy-paste.

So the best way to stay motivated ? Is to Work -> See progress -> Show some progress to others, then Work -> See progress -> Show some progress , and so on :)

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Break down what needs to be done into a list of smaller things. Try and make them all easily accomplishable within a day or two. Then go through them one by one. Any large task is easier to approach when viewed as a sequence of small tasks. (Except jumping across a wide chasm, for example.)

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Try coding only the most essential portions of the code (get the app up and running), then you go back and begin fleshing things out. For instance there is no need to overload all the operators you have in your interfaces right away. In this way if you become bored with coding one area you can switch to another.

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As a Software Engineer with OCECD (Obsessive Compulsive Engine Coding Disorder) I can say with (a little) authority, that everyone so far has offered sage words of advice - heed them well!

When I look back at my own engine, I could almost cry at the thought of how much effort has been put into it. I have spent whatever spare time I have had over the past 6 years working on it... and numerous times I have almost given up and thrown it all away. In realtime "man hours" it probably equals about 6 months - and no, sadly it is NOT "state of the art" (at least visually, yet...) it's just one hell of a time-sucking hobby!

Everyone has different techniques for self-motivation. If I lose my way, I take one of the smaller "fun" things that provide instant "reward" and work on that. I find anything that produces a nice visual output is best - like a particle/beam system (as DMINATOR mentioned), or finding that one line you wrote during a Sometimer's Moment that was killing your frame rate.

Just try and bear this one thought in mind... there is little quite so ego-inflating as seeing all your sprites/models wander around the level on their own, bumping into and/or shooting at each other for the very first time.

Keep it realistic, and keep it fun, and you should do just fine :)

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yeah it's pretty hard to get motivated when there is so much to do, and it doesn't help that it will take a handful of errors ... i mean hours (what's that called when you mean to say something and something totally different comes out?) to even get something on the screen.

in the past one and a half years i've had countless failures on game engines and finally i have something that i can say is good enough. my suggestion when working on something like this is to slowly implement your design in small steps. you say you have your interfaces all set up, sp choose an interface and get which ever system uses it all finished and done, test it out, continue on your next implementation. i find doing that really helped me out.

best of luck.

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Quote:
Original post by Drew_Benton
This programming is supposed to be Fun, not stressful!


Oooh... pretty... colors...

Ahem.

I'd second Kylotan's recommendation. I, like so many others am working on a game engine. It's rather daunting at times to see the sheer amount of stuff that needs to be done, but then I look at my super-awesome checklist of features to add in notepad and the big task gets broken down into nice little manageable tasks. Good luck!

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All the articles by Steve Pavlina are excellent (www.dexterity.com). In particular, you may find that Overcoming Procrastination and From Slump to Supercharged are especially helpful for you. Overcoming Procrastination provides some general tips to keep on track with your projects while From Slump to Supercharged is more of a philosophical discussion about your inner self and gaining the confidence to succeed.

I hope this applies to your situation.

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Thank you all for your suggestions. Ill try to finnish my engine in small parts. I was trying to do it all at once and it was too stressful.

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