Sign in to follow this  

Staying Motivated

This topic is 4051 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

This is not really a programming specific question as such. My problem is, following through on a project. I can't even count the number of programs I've started and dropped before finishing. Provided you have finished a game project, can you offer some advice on how to actually get to the end? I found myself writing a new design doc this morning and then I just stopped because I know I wont get to the end of it... :/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm sure everyone's experiences are different.

I found that when I joined some other people, it both took some of the enormity of the task off my back (split it up) and gave me other people to talk with and point me in new directions when I got bogged down. "I dont want to work on this" - "why dont you start on this?" ... although the reality is more like "why dont you start on this, by doing THIS" and then me disagreeing and being motivated to do it my way. Some people just need a prideboost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've tried to work in groups with other programmers online and when I was in college, it has never been a rewarding or successfull experience. Finding someone around the same skill level with compatiable ideas on a project is no small feat, plus I'm pretty stubborn....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Staying motivated seems to be a problem for alot of people, maybe you need to think of the reason your doing this? think long and hard about why YOU want to develop games?

as many people suggest, split the program into small manageable tasks, code little bits at a time that way you will see yourself getting results. If you find your giving up on the design doc, maybe what your working on isn't really that interesting to you anymore? if not then use mental techniques to get you in the right frame of mind, most of us have had the feeling when we are in 'The Zone' and continued to code until early hours lol think back to a time when you felt this and try and remember the feeling, maybe it will jump start your creative juices again, also look at your diet, what sort of food do you eat? food can really help, I'm not saying indulge excessively lol, but change what you eat, better healthier meals etc...

anything worth doing is difficult, so keep at it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One method that I've used before is working on multiple projects - but only actually making one at one time. The problem I have is that I get bored of a project, and then a bit later have this "really totally awesome super fantastic" idea and start another project. Whereas, if I have two projects, then when I get bored of one I'm usually more interested with working on my other project. Then, when I get bored of that one I will switch back. I did this when I created a Sudoku application and also started a Text Editor. Well, I didn't finish the Text Editor (fundamental design flaws!), but the Sudoku solver was finished.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I always feel limited and chained down when finishing a project, but the feeling of finishing something is so much better than the feeling of freedom when simply pulling the plug.

...even if the game is a flop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Eber Kain
I've tried to work in groups with other programmers online and when I was in college, it has never been a rewarding or successfull experience. Finding someone around the same skill level with compatiable ideas on a project is no small feat, plus I'm pretty stubborn....


1) I can empathize.

2) Game programming is (often) a personally driven act. We do it for (mostly) personal or egotistical pleasure. So sometimes working in groups WON'T work.

3) The trick for hobby projects seems to be to make the project appeal _intellectually_ to each team member, rather than personally.

4) Memes kill brainstorming. Memetic buzzwords like 3D, MMO, graphics, AI, etc. are toxic to the creative process. Try to think in terms of what is _realy_ intellectually unique/challenging/superior about your game idea. Lets face it, all we have going for us is our wits! The hobbies doesn't have the resources to implement buzzword-expressions like MMORPG+LOTR+Oblivion+Rouge-like without a _real_ idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
you sound like me kind of. I've been working on my game engine for so long motivation is being run dry. But you just have to push through it. I remember when my problems in my game were simple and I'd compile and test my game and get motivated. But then the project gets redone over and over and at some times you go for a weeks without even running the program because you need to get a crucial system working.

It also helps to have ideas that are extremely original. That is the only thing that has kept me motivated. Just knowing that no one will ever think of the same thing I did is like unlimited motivation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've found that it really helps to create a task schedule and set deadlines for yourself. I've been playing around with game programming since early high school (~8 years), and have so far failed to produce anything beyond simple demos. I'm starting to get a little tired of this, so for my current project (sci-fi RTS) I've set up a collection of high-level milestones. Each milestone has a list of low-level tasks to complete, and a date that I want to be finished by. Each task would be something that would take a few hours to complete.

Here is a simplified version of my first milestone list:

Milestone 1: Due 10/31/2006
- pygame initialization
- resource loader
- Star systems (render w/ textured quad; no conquest, no upgrades)
- Scrolling/zooming camera
- Two players. Press TAB to switch between them.
- Click & drag unit selection box
- Build ships (press S, C, or F when star system is selected)
     - S: Scout
     - C: Cruiser
     - F: Freighter
- Selectable entities
- Movable ships
- Combat (Missiles only, Ships with 0 health are removed from the world)
- transparent textures
- move map with mouse
- simple sounds
- simple economy
     - player has money
     - star system generates money each tick
- command queue
     - SetShipDestination
     - SetShipStance (Hold Fire or Fire at Will)
- explosions
- Build Windows EXE

This has really helped me, because when I start to feel bored and unsure of what to do next, I just look at the task list and work on the next most important task. The due date really helps to keep me focused.

I'm currently on track to finish my second milestone (networking and enhanced architecture) on Saturday. I might miss that date by a few days, but I'm fairly confident it will be close. The important point is that I've already made more progress on this project than any other that I've started in the past.

On another note, a few days ago I thought of great game idea that I really wanted to start working on. It was hard to motivate myself to get back to work on my RTS, so I took a break and played a little Dawn of War. That did a great job of getting me back into an RTS mood. Just don't play games too long :).

Good luck!

- Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another thing which you might want to try is to get involved in a game making competition. A deadline (and the hope of a little fame and prizes) goes a long way to keeping me on track. It also gets me passed the "I'm working on my engine" state that never leads to anything practical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by hh10k
It also gets me passed the "I'm working on my engine" state that never leads to anything practical.


I can't stress this enough. "Making an engine" is a sure way to never get anywhere. I've spent the last few years trying to make design decisions that would allow my "engine" to work with any type of game, from simple 2D strategy games to fancy 3D flight sims. In my current project, I'm coding everything as simply as possibly, then refactoring complex code into separate subsystems as needed. My game was playable within a few days, and just keeps getting better and better.

It is a lot easier to get motivated to refactor a small amount of code, or add a neat new feature, rather than trying to build huge modules en masse without having an actual game to test it with.

- Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lay out what is needed to do next. Take the project one piece at a time. Mabye treat the different pieces as "mini projects". Also, don't only look forward for at all the work that is needed to be done. Look back at the progress already made.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They are right, break the whole project into hundreds of mini goals. Each time you achieve one, you can take pride.

Also, take hundreds of screenshots of your project as it progresses, from the first poly, to the final build. When you're down, browse them and see how far you've come.

I've taken loads with fraps, but wish I had more now!

I also email a few interested friends and family with monthly updates. The pressure fo having something to write in my update keeps me working!

Good luck! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 4051 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this