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Motivation to Develop

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I'm wondering on what people's thoughts in regards to keeping a strong motivation to develop a game. I once started working on a game over 15 years ago. Throughout the years it has been a series of stops and starts. Now I've recently gotten excited and motivated again to work on it and made a lot of progress. However, I keep feeling bummed about what I could have accomplished if I really kept focused. If only I could keep my attention on the IDE instead of the browser. What keeps you motivated?

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Knowing that the end product will be original, people will use/play it, and you learn a lot on the way. I've ran into this problem a lot and what I usually do is just take a couple day break and then I'll feel better and continue. At times I really feel like making more progress, other times I fell like my project won't go anywhere. Never have that attitude, keep a positive attitude and focus on the end goal, always have something next on the TODO list so your always working on something new to add. But damn, 15 years, that's a lifetime to me lol(im 16)

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Original post by loom_weaver


If only I could keep my attention on the IDE instead of the browser.



If your talking about reddit, game blogs (got to mention the coyote and even gamedev.net - I know 100% what your talking about.

Even tho I am very into my personal game project, and try to carve time for it- I may get a 6 hour chunk with which to work...and what do I do... reload reddit every 20 min.

For me the thing that really is the hard part is starting. Once I get going with programing however it helps a ton. You maybe different, but once I get started and problems crop up or I have big ideas I want to solve them / see them through...

Well- I feel your pain.

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I do the whole series of stops and starts too. I've got about a dozen projects on the burner. And usualy work on one till I either get burnt out or hit a wall.

One of my main projects is this very robust 3D accelerated game engine to be used for a number of games. Of course I've rewritten this engine a dozen times or more over the last 15 years. Its come a long way from very simple DOS basied paletted 320 by 240 graphics to the Windows basied 32bit hardware accelerated monster it has become. I keep finding better more elegant ways to do things, which inspires revamping games in the works, which leads to new problems, which leads to hitting a wall and eventualy getting burnt out...Only to find inspiration later that leads to better and more elegant solutions...Yadda, yadda, yadda. Rinse and repeat.

Big part of this is because I've got too many different games in the works and I'm trying to develop a technology base for all of them.

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I stop and start too. I find it helps to look at the "Your Announcement" forums and see what others have accomplished. This really helps me know that it is humanly possible to finish what has stumped me. I then take a break for 2 or 3 days, and re-attack the problem. I seem to have my most inspirational moments, where I figure out how to solve the problem, either right after I shut down my computer, or as I'm laying in bed trying to sleep. Then I either write down what I thought of, or make sure I remember.

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For me it is knowing that the end product will be a great game, one that I really wanted to play. Of course there are times when I get stuck in the mud not able to move forward not able to achieve anything, I will just take a break, play some games read my books etc and forget everything about it. Until a few days, weeks or months later something will motivate me to continue the development.

I guess separating the whole project into chunks help a lot too. Whenever I reach a milestone and see the end product, the sense of achievement by itself is sufficient to keep me going.

Just hang in there and you will finish it one day :)

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Never feel bummed. You're at least farther along than those I know who had great ideas but will never realize them (because they quit, switched careers and are doing something else entirely).

Part of what motivates me is knowing that the kind of game I want to play isn't likely going to be created by anybody else. Some come close, but never close enough.

When I'm low on motivation, I have to just give myself a kick in the pants and tell myself to get over it. That is, unless I'm *really* low on motivation.

Then I stop and try to immerse myself in the whole aesthetics of what I'm trying to make. This could be reading a book, checking out art that's similar, or even playing a game that's close but frustratingly out of reach of what I want.

I also try, especially in design, to pay attention to when my energy goes south. For me, this is usually a sign that I'm making something too complicated and getting far from the aesthetics that I'm trying to follow.

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I just remembered this funny analogy one of my CS professors gave me that I thought might help.

High level language is like an oven. You add some if statements, while loops, bake it in the oven for 30 minutes, and you got a tasty program that works.

Assembly is like a crock pot. You add some simple, low-level ingredients, then let it cook overnight. You can't stand the long, painful wait, but you decide to be patient and let it cook. When it's finally done, it is just oh so good, and you got an even tastier and more efficent program. :)

So basically, if you push yourself and keep going, no matter how frustrating it gets, it'll all be worth it. Just keep your eye on the prize and you'll eventually reach it if you work hard and never give up.

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Choice of project is also important, remember if you are doing this on your own, you are only one person. I would ethier split the project up into useful sections - eg create a menu system you can use on all your projects. Completing each section will give you a sense of achivement that will drive you forward. Or aim for a smaller overall project, do a clone of a classic game with a twist.

What keeps me motivated? $$$ :)

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Motivation for me comes from actually coding things. Some days I open up VS and stare at it wondering "why?" But I know that if I just go at it, an hour later I'll be wondering "how?" And two hours later I'll be going "cool!" That's what makes me code.

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Recently I've started doing rapid prototypes of really bizarre ideas (like pool with magnetic balls and a pachinko-based fighting game). These projects take from 4-8 hours to complete, and I've made it a rule to not work more than one week on a single codebase.

So far the experiment has been a huge success in getting myself motivated... my biggest problem was that I kept trying for "bigger, better, faster, stronger" every time I'd start a new project. By keeping them super-small, even the craziest idea has a shot (like my current project, a smell-based stealth game that I like to call "Smellth").

As I do it more, I also am building up a foundation of snippets that I can trade between game concepts, so with each prototype I can get more done in the same amount of time. The fast pace of development keeps me from ever even thinking about opening my web browser... I sometimes get so into it that I forget to eat dinner!

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I usually have some blank paper and a pen handy and just start doodling or randomly jotting down thoughts. Usually that randomness helps me unwind while unconsciously helping me solve a particular problem or see something in a new light that restores my interest.

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Quote:
Original post by loom_weaver
However, I keep feeling bummed about what I could have accomplished if I really kept focused.

What keeps you motivated?


The knowledge that nobody 'keeps focused'. Everyone's patterns are different, but I can think of nobody (beyond the mentally ill) who can maintain a singleminded total effort on a single task.

Personally, I get boatloads more work if I program for 2 hours, take a 4 hour break and code for 2 hours rather than code for 8 hours. I also will generally work on a project for about 2 weeks, then play a game or just think about the design for 2 weeks. It's not losing focus, it's maintaining motivation. It's best not to fight that urge, but to notice and embrace it. Learn what best recharges your batteries.

You'll get a lot more done in the long run.

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Quote:
Original post by Telastyn
Quote:
Original post by loom_weaver
However, I keep feeling bummed about what I could have accomplished if I really kept focused.

What keeps you motivated?


The knowledge that nobody 'keeps focused'. Everyone's patterns are different, but I can think of nobody (beyond the mentally ill) who can maintain a singleminded total effort on a single task.

Personally, I get boatloads more work if I program for 2 hours, take a 4 hour break and code for 2 hours rather than code for 8 hours. I also will generally work on a project for about 2 weeks, then play a game or just think about the design for 2 weeks. It's not losing focus, it's maintaining motivation. It's best not to fight that urge, but to notice and embrace it. Learn what best recharges your batteries.

You'll get a lot more done in the long run.

Yeah if you can keep coding until you figure out that bug and forget the world around you you probably aren't normal. They call it Asperger's I believe.

People with Asperger's often have extreme difficulty interacting socially, preferring to focus on narrow fields of interest. But often they're able to pursue those interests with great intensity. Geniuses throughout history, including Albert Einstein, Andy Warhol and Emily Dickinson, have all been thought to have had Asperger's. And now Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith has decided to speak openly about what he calls the deficiencies and the selective advantages of Asperger's.

“I can switch out and go into a concentrated mode and the world is completely shut out,” he said in a recent interview. “If I'm writing something, nothing else exists.”


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