Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Rudolf85

Too many ideas, too many projects

Recommended Posts

Hi there.

I was just wondering - I can't be the only one who has this issue.

About every 1 or 2 weeks or so, I get inspired and have a new game idea. I get all enthousiastic and start working on that new game idea.

Sometimes, and this doesn't happen that often, I get around finishing a game. Even then, I will discover it has bugs and never go back to fixing it as I'd have to dive into the code again and for some reason, that seems like a whole lot of effort. Also, my enthousiasm is often short lived, so I'd probably have to complete a game within around 3 weeks or I will abandon the project.

I know I often have a large scope set for the projects - I often have plenty of ideas for features I want to implement - but I do manage to narrow down the features and content by a degree. Being a perfectionist can be a gift. But it's also hell. A game is never finished. 

Anyway, what I want to ask is - and it's something I'm asking myself a lot as well - but how do you guys deal with this? Or am I one of the few who have this 'issue'? As soon as the programming or design work becomes repetitive, or the scope too large, I quit, and find another idea to work. Talk about the definition of insanity.

I might have just answered my question here. Decrease the scope of the game. Buy assets if needed, instead of creating them yourself.

Still, it seems like a pesky habit I can't seem to get rid of! I'd also like to know what you guys do to actually finish a project.

I find creating game concepts very fun, and I know exactly how I'd like it to look, play and sound like. But doing repetitive 'bulk' work is an issue for me.
Some people work on a project for years at end, how the heck do they do that? How do they stay motivated?

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

I'm assuming you have an issue with focusing and maintaining a sense of direction?

To work on anything long term you never look for motivation as motivation comes after action. Those who stick out long projects have focus, and self discipline. I would suggest picking up some books on the topic. You also need to break things down in manageable chunks, but either way without self discipline you'll surely turn away in due time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Rudolf85 said:

Being a perfectionist can be a gift. But it's also hell. A game is never finished. ... how do you guys deal with this? 

I'm not a perfectionist myself. I get ideas for projects (game or music or art or writing) and I write the ideas down, and/or begin some work on it. If the project is so big that it's unlikely I can finish it, I might see if it can be scaled down to something I can get done within my usual enthusiasm window. I get a lot of enjoyment out of finishing small-scale projects. And they're nice but not perfect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Rudolf85 said:

Some people work on a project for years at end, how the heck do they do that? How do they stay motivated?

Design documents. They're not merely extra pre-work, they help guide the project and keep the scope from ballooning.

What I do with all my game ideas, is I put them into a doc to review later. When I'm looking for my next project, I will pick the one I feel is best at that time. Actually, my process is a bit more complicated (yet intuitive), but that's the basic idea.

Also, look at what you actually want to do (as a game developer, not necessarily what you want to work on), and try not to think so much about what you think should be the way of a game developer. Maybe what you want to do is to spend a few weeks making a small game instead of larger projects. Listening to other game devs is useful, but you should not be trying to fit yourself into a game developer mold (mostly because there isn't one).

Once you decide what you want, then you can come up with strategies to become successful at it.

I'd also like to add to what Rutin said, motivation is nice when you get it, but it's rarely ever enough on its own to complete a project.

Edit: I'd also add, that bug fixes are a must if you're going to release a game. Maybe you're happy just making it, but it will make it much more difficult to find success because audiences do not like playing a buggy game (in general, there are exceptions to everything).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Tom Sloper said:

I'm not a perfectionist myself. I get ideas for projects (game or music or art or writing) and I write the ideas down, and/or begin some work on it. If the project is so big that it's unlikely I can finish it, I might see if it can be scaled down to something I can get done within my usual enthusiasm window. I get a lot of enjoyment out of finishing small-scale projects. And they're nice but not perfect.

As someone who also gets far too many ideas and not much chance to work on all of them, I have found this helpful. I don't even really start much work on these ideas: maybe a bit of design, but that's it. I just write down all of my ideas into an idea log, then continue working on whatever I currently have going. 

I will say that for longer running projects, I too have problems staying committed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like you have trouble with tedium.  Unfortunately, it's unavoidable in larger projects, so if you want to complete those projects, you have to acclimate yourself to doing tedious things.  In your particular case, I suggest going back to old projects and gritting though some of the repetitive programming.

As for how I've managed to keep working at a game for 2 years... not minding tedium that I find meaningful is one of my 'sperg powers, so I doubt I can transfer that to others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!