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Not sure how to proceed with current project

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My current project is a puzzle platformer where the player must navigate blocks to the goal while dodging obstacles and solving puzzles. Each block will have different abilities, such as green blocks can move on land while blue blocks are good swimmers.

My problem is: I have been unable to make any good progress. I started working on this idea months ago, but I constantly find myself reconsidering concept and mechanics, and I am wondering if I should scrap this and work on something completely different. Simply put, I don't want to make a platformer because I already did a few others, and I want to work with a different genre. However, I don't want to waste the work I put in because I like the idea, and it has a lot of potential.

Does anyone have advice for what I should do? Would it be wise to quit this project, work on a few different projects, and, if I feel like I can make this work, return to this idea? What should I do in my predicament?

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Are you having problems implementing your ideas? or are you having problems with solidifying ideas or level design?  If its the later just pick a direction to go in and implement it... if worst comes to worst you can have different game modes (like how some games have an arcade or realistic mode) and implement your top 3 directions you'd take this game in.

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It depends on how "done" the current project is. Look at what you have done and use that to guess your estimated time-to-finish. If that length of time seems unbearable to spend working on the project, then it's probably best to move on to something else - but put the project aside and save it. You may end up being able to reuse some code at some point.

 

I'd suggest staying within the side-scroller genre if you've already got some XP working in it. You'll be able to re-use code and techniques and bring future ideas to life a bit quicker.

 

I find that I usually get sick of my projects faster when I feel that the idea I have is too vague or too strange to be something others would enjoy. I'm guessing that if you're second-guessing the mechanics alot - you're probably unsure whether or not it's actually an appealing game. It can be hard to ditch a project because it feels like you've wasted your time, but you undoubtedly learned something in the process and your next try will probably be much more organized and a better game overall.

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Yeah, I don't think I will be able to finish this project, and I haven't made enough progress to want to continue pressing forward. Perhaps the problem is that I don't know how to implement the mechanics to make them fun and engaging, either I don't have enough skill or determination to make this concept work and be satisfied with the outcome. Nonetheless, I feel like it would be best to work on a different game. 

 

In fact, I have been working on a different project that actually has a clearer sense of direction. It's a top-down game where the player must maneuver through an obstacle course, eventually reaching the goal flag and completing the level. There are stuff like lasers, moving walls/ platforms, switches, and projectiles. Since this uses similar mechanics that I have already experimented with, I believe I am more capable of seeing this project through, and I will be satisfied with the end result. 

 

I may go back to my block puzzle idea, but, unless I find a way to fit the mechanics in a way that is appealing, the project will remain in digital purgatory. In the meantime, I am going to continue working on my obstacle course project!

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Never, ever, think of a "failed", "scrapped" or "shelfed" project as a failure. See it as a stepping stone to another, better project, that WILL succeed and most probably wouldn't have been possible, or wouldn't have succeded without the failures that came before it. If a project no longer seems to make any progress, or you loose faith in it, shelf it. Don't throw it away, just put it on the backbruner for a while.

 

Concentrate on other things and see where they lead you. You might be able to scavenge your current project for assets and ideas or code and technology and move much quicker than without it as a stepping stone (leading to the same coclusion as SirWeeble made, stay with 2D Sidescrollers for now if you want to move quick).

You might want to explore completly new directions and see where they lead you.

 

 

You can always come back to the original game and finish it later. With a fresh perspective and new ideas, you might be able to do a much better job later on (or maybe at least not be trapped in analysis paralysis and constant feature change loops anymore).

 

 

See your current, or past failed (or even succeded) projects as parts of a toolbox. You create building blocks you can use again in future games... you did create a racer game that had awesome driving physics but just didn't work as a concept? Well, creating the vehicle physics for your new shooter project is certainly going to be easier with your expierience and the existing code... in fact, you might be able to slot in your existing assets and  code and only need to change a small bit, have a working system up and running in no time!

Edited by Gian-Reto

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