Staying Motivated

Member
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Post: #1
Hey,

I've been working on turning a game jam prototype into a full game over the last 3 or 4 months. I work full time (coder) so any chance I get to work on my game is in my spare time and unfortunately for the last couple of months my day job has been exhausting.

There have been weekends where progress has been really frustrating - bizarre bugs or a day spent on writing "behind the scenes" code that has no visible difference to game play. Then there are the fantastic weekends where everything clicks into place, I give it to a friend to test for me and they love the game play.

I've gotten better at learning to take time away from it and at keeping things in perspective i.e. I'm a hobbyist and my livelihood doesn't depend on the success of any games I make.

How do the rest of you stay motivated when working on your games?
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Luminary
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Post: #2
Personally? I don't! Hence why I'm not a famous indie game developer Wink

Not quite about motivation, but probably relevant nonentheless: http://makegames.tumblr.com/post/1136623...ing-a-game
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⌘-R in Chief
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Post: #3
I don't write games very often, but I often suffer from a lack of motivation when writing other software. My usual answer is to just shut up and start working on it, and after half an hour I'm no longer dreading working on it. Smile
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Luminary
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I'm not sure that counts Rasp
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(Jun 10, 2012 02:28 PM)SethWillits Wrote:  I don't write games very often ...

Blink Wat??! Man, that ain't right. If you are the leader of a website that caters to a specific field of programming, one would expect that said leader should at least be actively involved in that particular field. No offense, but.. I'm shocked! Seriously. I mean, I know Carlos wasn't actively involved, but wasn't that one of the core complaints, so to speak?
(Jun 10, 2012 12:12 PM)anthony Wrote:  There have been weekends where progress has been really frustrating
...
How do the rest of you stay motivated when working on your games?

If it makes you feel any better (or perhaps worse), I've struggled with this for well over ten years of "hobbiest" game development.

No cure discovered in all that time. Something keeps dragging me back into game development though. Perhaps game development satisfies my inner rebel somehow?
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Member
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Post: #6
Demotivation happens to everyone. Especially when you're working full-time doing exactly the same thing-- I know this from experience.

What I do is just play my game. Not running it from Xcode, but playing it on my computer/iPhone/whatever as if I was picking it up for my own personal enjoyment. And I slack off and play it. I play it until something pisses me off about it-- usually a bug or some small balance issue-- enough that it makes me get up off my ass to fix it.

Usually that's enough momentum to get back into it.

Justin Ficarrotta
http://www.justinfic.com
"It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man." - Alexander Seropian
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Member
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Post: #7
(Jun 10, 2012 02:15 PM)OneSadCookie Wrote:  Personally? I don't! Hence why I'm not a famous indie game developer Wink

Not quite about motivation, but probably relevant nonentheless: http://makegames.tumblr.com/post/1136623...ing-a-game

Thanks for that article Smile

And thanks for all the other replies.

@JustinFic I actually do that quite a bit because it breaks up the grind of doing the "application" part of the game (menus, saving, etc.). When I find something isn't fun to play or doesn't look right I tweak it without doing a full re-write.

Anything that I don't find fun to play after a tweak or two goes to the prototype graveyard as I'll never finish it.
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Apprentice
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Post: #8
It's especially easy to get burnt out after working long stretches at a time, and I'm definitely guilty of this. I try to sprinkle in breaks totally unrelated to work. It at least breaks the monotony.
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Member
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Post: #9
I have lots of demotivation issues, personally, and music for games is no different. Perhaps it's just that I never tried to apply for paid work until now, but I often feel like I'll never be successful in the industry. It sometimes gets so bad that the best I can do is just go to sleep, knowing that tomorrow's another day. Any better advice would be deeply appreciated.
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Apprentice
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Post: #10
The old saying ' sound mind - sound body' holds true here. For me it's really important that despite how crazy things might be at work, always find the time to get out and get some exercise, even if that means just taking a walk, or easy bike ride. Fresh air, time away from a keyboard/screen, is important to me to help keep focus, and helps in getting a solid night sleep.
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(Aug 28, 2012 05:16 PM)mobileAge Wrote:  The old saying ' sound mind - sound body' holds true here. For me it's really important that despite how crazy things might be at work, always find the time to get out and get some exercise, even if that means just taking a walk, or easy bike ride. Fresh air, time away from a keyboard/screen, is important to me to help keep focus, and helps in getting a solid night sleep.

Agreeing with this. Especially since moving to being independent full-time, it's been crucial to pace myself. I've even created a pretty rigid work schedule for myself.

It seems counter-intuitive, but the best way to stay motivated enough to keep working is to STOP WORKING. Otherwise you get into a trap of never being able to relax, because you feel guilty you're not working, and also not being able to work either because you're completely, utterly burned out. So all you end up doing is staring at your screen in a daze for 12 hours a day.

Justin Ficarrotta
http://www.justinfic.com
"It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man." - Alexander Seropian
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⌘-R in Chief
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Post: #12
(Aug 28, 2012 05:35 PM)JustinFic Wrote:  It seems counter-intuitive, but the best way to stay motivated enough to keep working is to STOP WORKING. Otherwise you get into a trap of never being able to relax, because you feel guilty you're not working, and also not being able to work either because you're completely, utterly burned out. So all you end up doing is staring at your screen in a daze for 12 hours a day.

⬆ My life story for the past 8 years. A schedule really does help. But then the problem is sticking to it consistently. I'm still fighting that battle.
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Post: #13
A good way to stay focused/stay on schedule is to have a separate place to do your work. If the area you're working is the same place you relax/cruise the internet/watch tv or movies then it's going to be much harder. If you have a dedicated workspace for your schedule it'll be much easier to focus and stay on task during that time. At least I've found that works for me.

Alex
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Post: #14
I'm not a game developer primarily; I am mostly a game music composer merely trying to find a position among the professional game developers. At the same time, however, I find the last two bits of advice given in this thread to be mildly helpful for my case.
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