blueshogun96

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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I've had a similar mental situation like this. Although I don't personally know your situation, what I've done is download a lot of motivational speeches and play them everyday. I live with like constant anxiety and depression about if I can't make it to game development, Ill be letting people who have supported me down and myself. Some people just need the daily motivation because they've been hard wired for depression for so many years due to their environment. I would also recommend trying to manage your daily habits as well. Personally, I wake up at 6am and sleep at 12am. That is an 18 hour window of productivity which with your 11.5hr daily routine of working and commuting, seems manageable. Follow mentors as well because they can help you when you are feeling down. I follow Gary Vaynerchuck, Eric Thomas, and Tony Robbins to name a few. Set aside time to meditate and reflect too. Meditation in the morning feels great and helps me prioritize goals/tasks, while reflection helps to figure out what went right or wrong and what I could do better the next day. There are some days where you can't follow this kind of routine, but that's okay. As long as you reflect on what happen, and try to figure out a solution to get back on track, you are set for future success. I hope everything works out for you and best of luck!

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I think it's mainly momentum.  Even if it's a few minutes a day, make sure you open it up and actually do something.  If you get tired of it, work on a different portion.  Creativity can help brighten your outlook.  Think of it as the one thing that is actually yours and that you have full control over.

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I echo what @ApochPiQ said. While you look for someone that's qualified to give you life advice, here are some more things for you to consider:

  1. This is a quote from a local newspaper article on motivation. A specialist says:
    Quote

    The first impulse of motivation comes from your conscience. But strong motivation -- that boost of happiness and excitement -- only comes to you after you reach your first results. The more results you reach [with your life projects], the more motivated you will be.

     

  2. Use your eating habits to improve your quality of life. Avoid takeout and processed foods and rely on homecooking more. Since homecooking takes time, there's this tip from Jamie Oliver which is to cook in big batches (during the weekend, for example) so you can freeze portions for the week. Besides the obvious nutrition benefits, it will save you time during the week since you won't have too cook (just heat in the microwave or stove for example), and depending on your situation homecooking can also be more economical, saving you a few bucks.

  3. The following post by @Dannthr is for the music industry, but I consider it inspirational for creative fields in general. Print it (on actual paper) and read it from time to time: 557522-i-want-to-be-a-game-composer

  4. Forgot to add something, and it's very similar to what @fireside7 said. Any progress is progress. It's cumulative. Big valuable projects are made with incremental steps, that's how you'll get yours done.

Good luck.

Edited by Kryzon

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As ApochPiQ says really well - you should seek help. Your specific case sounds like a serious stress condition and can, in worst case, have permanent consequences for your work life and life in general.  Seek help or take a vacation and only do what is necessary to get by.  

If your heart is set on getting help from strangers on the internet, I'll hand you a small token of advice:
1) Poor some ice cold water into a glass. 
2) Sit down in a sofa or comfy chair.
3) Close your eyes and Re-Visualize the dream you first had for your project. Try and get into the feeling you want for the product. Feel the excitement of this feeling being relayed to others as they get their hands on your game and heart.  It must never be money that motivate. Money doesn't motivate - people do. 

Keep going because it makes you happy to see your product being released.

If that is impossible to you, I'd strongly recommend going out and doing something else. Take walks in the sun, go to the gym, eat healthy. More important than anything is to create some routines and follow them strictly. Routines create the illusion of stability and help you focus.  Routines are the reason our society keeps together without people going mad.     A good place to start is the morning routine. 

I really hope this helps.

Edited by AlphaSilverback
I had an epiphany

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Wow, I didn't realize that this thread was still active!

In case you are all wondering, have things gotten better since then?  Actually no, things have gotten MUCH worse.  Do I feel the same?  Honestly, no.  In fact, I feel more motivated now.  I've quit binge drinking too!

Right now I am living with mom and pops for a while since I can't afford my place anymore and still broke as a joke.  But at least I have a part time job doing game testing for Win10/Xbox Game certification.  I'll likely be doing this until I can get something better.  Since I'm far away from the job now, I have to commute about 4-5 hours a day via bus, but I scraped up enough money to get a used Surface Pro to work on my game's UWP port for Dream.Build.Play.  I'm going to submit my game to this contest before the end of this year and hopefully win some money or exposure. 

You just have to:

  1. Stop complaining.  There's always someone that has it worse and deals with a greater set of challenges than I do.  I mean really, I have Microsoft contacts, id@xbox access, the business card of a Sony publisher, and more.  Plus Josh said stop :D
  2. Keep on keeping on.  Leverage your advantages, build smart solutions to overcome your disadvantages.
  3. Stop drinking!  Killing your brain cells and trashing your liver isn't going to help. 

So even though I've had no breakthroughs and things have gotten far worse, I feel more motivated.  Ever hear the saying "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired?"  Well, I'm sick and tired of saying that I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.  That's enough, let's just move forward!

Shogun

 

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In response to the OP, not the latest post (lol), sometimes you need to walk away. I don't mean give up entirely. But alot of people when they feel stuck they create (oddly) this need to stay and stick with it (it being drama or problem). Just walk away from it. And if that leads you to taking a mental break of relaxation (watching TV, reading books, going outside to be outside, etc) or getting into another hobby or interest, then embrace it. Enjoy it.

Not every problem is the end of the world, but a problem is a problem. And most problems have solutions. And most solutions are easy. In this case, IMO, it's easy. Temporarily switch gears and put your focus into something else. At worse, you do something that's trivial but stressless. At best, you learn something new, if not useful.

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I am in the same boat, I can't stay motivated for long periods to keep working on my game projects. It comes in waves for me. I end up developing my game every day for one or 2 weeks on all of my free time, and then stop for about a month. I drink the whole time, its a wonder my game works at all. I really need to stop writing code under the influence. Someone is going to end up in an accident

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