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How to stay motivated?

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I'm curious on how you all stay motivated to work on your games and such.  This used to be an easy thing for me.  Now, not so much...

I'm not trying to give you all a sob story (I've had worse; been homeless before) but The past months since late October have been really depressing and a real downer.  Been out of steady work for 8 months (seattle's available job pool is dwindling and nobody wants to hire full time  so I might leave), and now here I am working in a white collar sweatshop 8.5 hours a day, commuting 3+ hours a day, and very little time to myself.  The pay isn't even the are minimum to get out of debt due to not having a job, and I literally have no money to myself.  Everything goes to rent so I don't end up homeless again.  When I do get home, I'm mentally exhausted and feel as if every brain cell in my head is busted.  When that happens I can't seem to carry a thought in a bucket so I just go to  bed.  Cycle repeats.

So how do you all stay motivated?  For me it's a constant struggle not to get depressed and start drinking again.  I have a game that's almost ready to be released but I have no money to do so.  It's already cross platform with lots of great pier reviews too.  I even had a Sony publisher take interest in it, plus I got id@xbox approval too, but my financial situation sucks.  I spin my gears at max speed but I feel like I'm getting nowhere fast.

Once again, I'm not asking for you to pity me or for sympathy because I'm done crying over it.  Life sucks and that isn't going to change for everyone.

What I AM asking is how to stay motivated even when everything looks hopeless and there's no way out?  How do you all handle it?

Thanks,

Shogun

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If your game is nearly done, maybe you should try and get a publisher to sponsor your project? Or maybe just sell the game itself? A bit of extra cash could really help you out. 

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Maybe the boundary between the forum and the discord chat is getting blurred to Chubu

Shogun- I don't think there is an easy answer. Anything said here is easier said than done. Life sucks indeed

Maybe you should not work solo on your game project but join forces/team up with some like-minded people. If you can do that, it would ease the burden. But finding such people might not be easy, so like I said no easy solution, but watch some motivational youtube videos and stay focused 

[ I myself haven't watched the whole of this video though, i have only watched the first 20 mins or so ]

 

Edited by grumpyOldDude

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I think if you want to do it, there's a reason to be doing it deep down. I think in my own experiences making games is the development of the means, the building of bridges lets say, for more useful things. I find that if someone is stuck with an artists block or some kind of obstacle, finding interest in another field may be fruitful and may alleviate the blockage as well as to bring a fresh perspective to another field. Eg music or art. I think the end purpose of games like other arts is to be just be a distraction or something that people sink their free time into, to get a little bit of the whole while they take a break. I was recently watching DJs on YouTube and how they mix and a DJ bag review and it made me want to make music a lot. I think something I get happy thoughts out of and that alleviates my desire for being more motivated without actually making me motivated is that there is no point to human progress or actually doing anything, and that taking a dump or scratching oneself may be more important at a galactic scale than having finished a project, because deep down my subconscious decided I should do that instead. Also try out other arts because maybe you will become a "complete person". It would be awesome to have somebody that can wield all these arts in their head, especially to use them all on a game. That's what I recently thought about doing in my free time. Though I think games are useless and you have to find something useful to do and that may give you material and essence to put into your games. What is your game anyway? It takes a long time to perfect a craft and to get the most meaning or score the most points in the presentation. Score the most points as in, get the best ratio of memes to work or time spent or something, of memes is something you're aiming for. My early projects we're low meme yield. Actually my early projects had some good atmosphere and points scoring but not complete games. Then I went to over-engineering and learning the craft, until now, which is the point of simplification and making use of my accumulated code base and knowledge and recovering that youthful character and brilliance. So maybe keep doing what you're doing because you need to exhaust all possibilities or because you're contributing to the pool of stuff people can do in their free time and you enjoy attention. [deleted by moderator - warning issued to poster] [Edit] Or just quit your job if that's causing you depression and do games full time.

 

[Edit] Motivating videos: search "dj set" on YouTube

 

 

 

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Motivation with game dev...I nibble at it every night (or try). Sharing work with wife and friends at work helps. Which is why I focus on web app games because they are easy to share.

On low motivation spots at work...I compensated on training the development group and (mostly) support group on certain topics. Sharing information is something I enjoy. Breaks like that kept me motivated. I was fortunate enough to be allowed (even encouraged) to do this at work as long as my development work was not interrupted.

If you're having issues with alcohol and it is at a point where it effects your work or life...suggest AA.

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I find the github issue tracker to be a powerful motivation tool, if you use it correctly. Stuffing a three layered cake into your mouth all at once will of course not end well, and the same is true for any programming project: If you try to think about how much you have yet to implement, you will be mentally overwhelmed.

The issue tracker helps you break your project down into small manageable steps, and if you're using github, you can generate visual graphs of your progress and use milestones to see the progress of particular features in your game.

It's a lot easier to motivate yourself when you can set goals and reach those goals. For instance, you could tell yourself that you will fix 2 issues a day, and when at the end of the day you were able to fix those two issues, you can smile to yourself and feel good about your accomplishment.

 

Edited by TheComet

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If you want to make progress on your game, then game development has to be a priority. Usually when I'm giving this advice it's to people whose priority is watching TV, cruising the internet, and playing video games. To them, I think their priorities are wrong for their stated goal. But you seem to have your priorities straight: stay out of debt, avoid being homeless, other real life BS, and THEN concentrate on making a game. :)

It doesn't sound like you have any free-time during the work week. You could try to force yourself to be productive during this time, but it sounds like you're under a ton of stress. Forcing yourself could easily push you into burn-out as your work-addled mind struggles with tough problems.

Hopefully your job isn't a 7/days a week thing. Do you have any time during the weekend? Dedicate some time to working on it every week (even if it's just 2-4 hours). Focus on smaller features or polish when your time is limited so you can keep chipping away at it. Eventually your brain should get back in the groove so you can work on bigger and more complicated features.

- Eck

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