Pine Towers

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Hi guys!

So, the topic today will be about burn out or when in doubt to continue.

How do you react when the feeling of wasting time appears? Where do you grab yourself to? In the end objective? In what you already accomplished?
Upon finding a game much close to yours, but "better", be it in presentation/art, style, mechanics or whatever, how do you feel? Inspired to continue your project? Or wishing to throw everything in the garbage bin?

Speaking for myself about my current project...
I already did much, much more than anything I have initially thought about. Not in raw production (I don't have a full B tilesheet or even a full charset done, only a few A1/A2/A4, and charset templates), but artistically. My spriting improved a lot (anyone who follows this topic can see it), but I know there's so much more it could be made better. I went the sprite way because I'm no artist (or weren't, since I found out sprite art is indeed an art that follows artistic rules much like oil painting or digital drawing, so I may consider myself an amateur spriter), so when I see really, really nice, full HD digital paintings the way I would love to use/create for/to my game, I get a little down (today was Inkarnate. I just can't use it for the world map if my game uses pixel art). Specially when I begin to work on busts and cutscenes and the increased canvas size made it a nightmare to work on. Sometimes it is the sheer amount of work, or worse: a new game that was released and took my game hours away.

Then, there's the scope: I'm making the resources with the intent of selling them, and the game would be only to showcase the resources. But then I wonder if it wouldn't be simpler to pay for the resources and sell the game instead. Or do both. Because, as it currently is, the game cannot be sold as it hasn't an original plot or characters. But it I were to aim for a "sell-able" game, there's a whole new content to be created (NPC, chars, plot, villains, locations...), while for now I know what I need to create in terms of sprite because the whole game was already done before. Just when I receive my Steam backer for Regalia...

So, how do you do keep the focus and determination for your game making?
 

Piyan Glupak

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I am purely a hobbyist, and probably have different factors affecting me. I must admit that there are frequently months when I do little or nothing on my game(s). I have several hobbies, each of which tend to dominate my free time, depending upon the season. During the summer, it is hotter here than the country that I was born and spent most of my life in, so I tend to concentrate on wargaming. Painting wargaming figures doesn't take a lot of energy, and doesn't make me sweat excessively. During autumn and winter, I am more likely to spend time with my model railway layout, and on RPG Maker. In spring and early summer, I have to do a lot in the garden (which I do tend to enjoy). This tends to mean that my RPG Maker projects take vastly longer than they should.

When I am on a RPG Maker splurg, if I get bored with the current project, I think about what the next project would be, and do things like investigate potentially useful plugins, or work out how to event things. The danger is that I decide things are a good idea, and then change the scope of my current project.
 

Eviticous

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How do you react when the feeling of wasting time appears? Where do you grab yourself to? In the end objective? In what you already accomplished?

  • If I am feeling like time is being wasted it's because I am wasting the time, not because its being wasted. I change what ever I am doig to make more efficient use of my time.
  • Where do I what? This question makes no sense.
  • Not understanding this question either.
  • Huh?

So, how do you do keep the focus and determination for your game making?

A question I can answer:

You just do. You just focus on one task at a time. You worry about things as they come up, not miles down the road. You work on one thing till it's done. For example I have a character who meets up with another who then goes to another's house. These are three steps, one takes at a time. Each map has things, events running, that has to be planned out and are executed one at a time. As I develop the maps I think of a feature, I ask my self how useful this is. If i need a script I generally make it my self, depending on complexity - or alter one if I doesn't do as I want.

One step, one map, one event, one sentence at a time. Do not over complicate and do not over think and don't over plan.
 

Pine Towers

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  • If I am feeling like time is being wasted it's because I am wasting the time, not because its being wasted. I change what ever I am doig to make more efficient use of my time.
  • Where do I what? This question makes no sense.
  • Not understanding this question either.
  • Huh?
I LOL'ed, then I cried myself to sleep. English is not my mother language, as can be seem on my profile, and I was venting off steam when writing the thread, so some phrases got a little clunky, to say the least.

Let me try to rephrase that:
Where do you hold yourself to? Do you keep going looking for the final objective? Do you keep working by seeing how much you already did?
 

Eviticous

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I hold my self to the plan I have laid out the individual steps and processes I have laid out keeping in mind not to plan to far in advance

The final objective, for me, is clear. I feel if you keep looking for this then you don't have a clear goal in mind.

I keep working based on what's left.
 

Another Ned

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If there's danger of burning out, the healthy thing would probably be to step back for a bit and reevaluate what you're doing. Are you pushing yourself too hard? If it's a hobby, are you investing your time into something you don't completely love doing (doing something just to sell it, for example, might kill motivation and enjoyment for some)?

I am pretty much unfazed by work that's better than mine by now (except for the "Woah, cool!" part, of course). There's always someone better, so there's no point to being discouraged by this. Rather, I see it as inspiration, as "Hey, if I keep at it, my stuff will be just as good in time!" -- though it did take me years to develop this mindset.

Oh, and about sticking to a plan: That's a good idea, but still, step back for a bit, if possible. I've been through having been completely burnt out in the wake of sticking to a plan, and it took me several months to recover.
 

Daniel47

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One step, one map, one event, one sentence at a time. Do not over complicate and do not over think and don't over plan.
Wisely stated.
 

sabao

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Up until last month, I worked as a game designer and artist. We worked with tight schedules and sometimes two projects at the same time. It was exhausting, even frustrating. As far as my experience in production went, I learned how important planning ahead of time was. Breaking down your project into multiple milestones keeps the work in perspective and crossing milestones at a regular pace keeps morale high.

It's also taught me to manage expectations; there's just always going to be that guy or team with better skills, funding, market visibility, etc. Don't let that stop you. You'll improve over time with dedication (besides, as hobbyists is this really a competition?). Also, learn to improvise. You'll probably run into technical roadblocks like maybe a game mechanic you're having trouble implementing, or a map with a feel you can't seem to nail. Try approaching the problem in a different angle instead of stalling work because you can't pull it off the way you had originally envisioned.

And yeah, take breaks where you can if you do find yourself mentally exhausted. We'd have limited allowances of work leaves every year and I usually saved those for emergencies and for those days I needed to recharge. Just remember that you should be getting back to working on it eventually.
 

Clockwarkgate

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I never feel wasting time on making my game but that thought occurs whenever I see people finishing their games within 2-4 weeks. While Im here, working on my game for like 4 years. I'm also being comflicted when I finished my game. Will they check it out? Will it made a great impact to the community? Will it be recognize? Thinking about it make me do nothing for like 3 hours.

Whenever these happens, I just watched youtube videos, play minecraft, or watch yugioh (DM to Vrains). Trying to entertain and forget about the conflict in my head.

Inspired to continue your project? Hehehe... when I started 10% of the project, I finish it. That's the only positive thing in my mind, its torture.
 

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