What keeps you focused?

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  • Hi guys,

    I believe I have a good product at the moment... but as a teenager with impulses to always try something different I have found that I've, not lost interest, but rather focus on my project.

    Perhaps it is motivation; perhaps it is an in-ability to focus; perhaps I need a little boost.

    So I what I was really wondering was:

    When you WANT to finish something you are passionate about but somehow hit a wall of lack of motivation... what brings you back up?

    Thanks, this is a serious thread and I would genuinely appreciate someone's thoughts/ideas/stratagems <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • I used to fall in that same trap all the time. Ya work on something for a month, get demotivated or think of something cooler/more fun, then work on that for a month..before you know it you've got 20 unfinished games or what have you. Here are some things that have helped me..

    -Take a break from game development/games as a whole. Eventually you'll start thinking about your awesome project and how badly you want to work on it and finish it ^^

    -Work on a different aspect of the game for a while. Tired of spriting? Go work on some music. Tired of level design? Go make some bosses and enemies. Tired of that? Make some collectibles and powerups!

    -Never work on something just because it sounds cool or whatever. Make sure you can do it and really, really want to. The most demotivating thing I can think of is fixing bugs for hours on end or days/weeks/even months on some feature set you don't fully understand. You finally finish it and..well..great, now that's done. Only 5,000 more features to go!

    -Don't be afraid to cut features. Sometimes less is more. I see lots of games with full-blown crafting and stuff and 9 times out of 10 it's just a burden.

    -Polish polish polish! If you can't think of anything new at the moment go and improve what's already there. Your game will look & feel better and so will your outlook.

    -I've found that writing stories for my games helps because it creates a sort of sentimental/emotional bond between you and the game, and the story needs to be told! The thought of no one ever knowing it makes me sad, so I work harder!

  • Thanks a lot Tokinsom <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

    I just find myself procrastinating rather than starting a new project.. it's dreadful.

    I really like points: 2,3 and 5. They are things I do/need to do more/am proud of when I do them (mainly #4 as it shows myself that I can really focus on quality rather than quantity.

    Thank you :) The reason I didn't reply sooner was because I was actually in construct! Yay!

    All other opinions/ideas/etc are welcome :)

  • Personnally, I think it is always hard to begin to work, like when I was kid and it is time to go to the bath... you don't want to, but when you are inside, you don't want to leave. And I don't work all alone, so I don't choose everything.

    So, I fix myself one small objective from my todo list (like "make touch controls" ), I do it, and then, I want to continue, so I check what other things are on my to do list.

    The fact is, don't do every fun part to make all at once, and you should have a What to do list, to keep the focus, If you are like me, you should do one "fun to program" part when beginning the day, Then you just check what you chosen before, I have myself other ideas of games, or of gameplay, but I remember that I shall not implement them when I think of them, you shouldn't do everything you think of at once, but write it down, do what you have to do, then later see it again, and think about it a second time.

    Passion is a good thing to keep you program, but it should be moderated, so It doesn't result in "I love to program games, too bad, I never finished any of them", because passion isn't what helps making games, the fact you know how to understand it is.

    It is my personnal way of thinking, I could be right, wrong, or even just applicable for me.

    PS:English isn't my first language, so please forgive me If I make mistakes

    PS2: I have enough rep forum, let me post

  • Thank you Aphrodite

    Some really good points there.

    I currently have a whole event list for just personal notes and another for what I've fixed etc with comments and all that!

  • Working on different aspects of the game, as mentioned above, works best for me as well. Eventually my games become boring to me, but pumping out some music or some (shoddy, in my case) art always keeps me going <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • I read in a programming blog that a lot of coders work late, because their brain is slower at that point and they can force it through a lot of their work without being distracted.

    I usually work best at 9am-1pm and then again at 6pm.

    For me, creating something that works keeps me going!

    But I havent been using C2 for a very long time, perhaps it's different if you create games in a text editor.

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  • Hey Sulli,

    I can relate to what your saying, I'm sure we all can. We live in a world with an infinite amount of distractions at our fingertips. Add procrastination into the mix and you have all the ingredients necessary for unproductivity.

    Life in general is all about perspective. The best answer for you will depend on the kind of person you are and your experiences, but If I could step into the Delorean and give myself some general advice on the topic it would be this.

    Don't see motivation as a wave that will carry you through your project. If you do then you will no doubt start something, get obsessed with it for a while and then totally slump before looking for the next wave/game-idea and repeat the cycle.

    Take a moment and really decide if you want to stick this thing out (and also how much time you want to put into this project as a whole). If you decide to continue then do so knowing that a lot of the development time wont be fun. Depending on how quickly you want to get your game out you might also have to make some sacrifices (both in your game and out of it). This in itself is very demotivating but will ultimately determine whether or not you end up finishing this game.

    Now when your sitting on your board and there isn't a wave in sight. Remind yourself that you have committed to the above and not seeing this one through will truly only have you repeating the cycle indefinitely.

    If you ever feel overwhelmed with the amount of work don't struggle with getting motivated, don't question your commitment, just play some music ( Something that will go on for a while like this playlist : youtube.com/watch ), put your head down and force yourself to tick one of those boxes on the to do list. With any luck you will find yourself losing track of time and before you know it you will again be swept up with the same burst of motivation you started with.

    To sum up: If your bored blame the music and not the project and switch it up. Focus on your goal, don't let yourself even entertain the thought of starting something new before this is finished. Life is a rollercoaster and so is game development, enjoy the ride! :)

  • Relevant topic:Maintaining focus.

  • Thank you everybody.

    This has all helped me get back on track; I also must agree that I work best late in the evening, and now I actually have some kind of scientific reasoning!

    Thank you all, again. <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" border="0" align="middle">


    Bit old, but I love the film and its music <img src="smileys/smiley4.gif" border="0" align="middle">

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