doriantoki

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
116
Reaction score
29
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
For all the aspiring game makers, I'm just wondering how you manage motivation? By that I mean, getting the energy to put time into a project while maintaining a sense of accomplishment.

The reason I ask is that I am finding it difficult lately to really get into a project as I did when I was younger. I find that I can barely motivate myself to sit down and work on a project, and if I do muster that energy, I find the results aren't particularly fruitful. Over this last year, I have maybe put in a month worth of solid days with some impressive accomplishments (and we're in month 11, so that goes to show ...).

Anyone have any particular tips or strategies they are finding effective when they find themselves in a similar slump? :dizzy:
 

standardplayer

Keeper of Kitties
Veteran
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
699
Reaction score
3,454
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
One quote I keep seeing crop up around here (which I think is really taken out of context and misused) is from a gentleman who was saying something to the effect of "inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and go to work".

I know you said 'motivation', so the reason I bring this up is because I see 'motivation' as like a fuel tank. It's gotta have something in it, or the surrounding vehicle won't go.

I switch what kind of fuel goes in that tank.
-If I feel inspired that day, I'm pumping every gallon of inspiration I have into the tank. That's like buying the better grade gasoline.

-Many days I don't have inspiration, but I have a sense of purpose. I want to work on my project, even if I don't feel like I want to. At times like that, I know I want it, because otherwise I wouldn't be concerned about not feeling up to it.

-Finally, if I don't have either of the two above, and I'm still not willing to take a break, I go off of a sense of duty. This is my fallback. It's the thing I probably always have, but use the least often. But if I don't feel inspired or have that feeling of purpose, I switch to telling myself, very much intentionally that I have to do something.

At the end of the day, I'd rather play a role in a team than to try to make a whole project happen on my own. It's hard. Ask the folks around here like @bgillisp who've worked on games solo and commissioned things they needed. It takes a long time, and I think that sense of duty is what brings you back from a break that would otherwise spell the end for your project
 
Last edited:

doriantoki

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
116
Reaction score
29
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@standardplayer

Some great advise! Generally, I can compartmentalize my project, since there's different facets to it, such as writing, animation, and background graphics. I find that things like animating an NPC walking can be done on almost auto-pilot. So for those low energy days, I should probably be focusing in that instead. I find that creating background graphics takes the most "motivation" in that you have to bring in a sense of scale, depth, color theory, and so on, to create a solid piece.

@bgillisp

I know exactly how that feels. My first project was a 7 year ordeal. I released it on Steam to almost no fan fair. This seems to make "grinding" into the next project more difficult. I was hoping the first would at least fund some monies to outsource parts of the next project, but no dice. I hate sounding like I make excuses, and my drive is not only motivated by money, but ... it seems to chip away at my desire some desires, seeing that the first project didn't have much of an impact at all.
 

standardplayer

Keeper of Kitties
Veteran
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
699
Reaction score
3,454
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
@doriantoki lol I don't think you're making excuses, I've never made it to releasing one of my own projects. Everything I mentioned in my first post is what I learned throughout my time of working on my own projects.

Now I find it very easy to get motivated about working on someone else's project. Again though, I think that's because I'm not going it alone, I have others counting on my, which makes me want to respect that accountability.

But you released something, and after 7 years, no less. That puts you in a group I haven't broke into yet, so kudos on that.
And to still go after releasing that project and working on another, I think you're probably fine. Definitely save those background graphics for the motivated days lol, some stuff it's just worth it to wait until the time is right
 

doriantoki

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
116
Reaction score
29
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@standardplayer

True, true, about probably being okay. I forget at times too, that my responsibilities have changed significantly even over the last 7 years. When I started by first project, I was fresh out of University, and wasn't working full time, or even had a sense of myself, or my life. So, that sense of priorities has changed drastically. As well, I find I am more strategic with the work load - there's less superfluous work. I have to careful though, in that from an artistic perspective, I don't want the end result to look too mechanical. The assets, regardless of the game, still need to have a sense of fun.
 

TheoAllen

Self-proclaimed jack of all trades
Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Messages
6,342
Reaction score
7,967
First Language
Indonesian
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Finding motivation is easy. Managing motivation, not really.
That said, every person is different. But here is the list where you might get some motivation
  • Game dev con - (You find that there're a lot of ppl with the same passion as you)
  • Playing people's game that is better than you - (So, you want to show them that you also can do it)
  • Playing people's game that is worse than you - (So, you want to show them how it should be done)
  • Deadlines - (Sense of urgency always a valid source of motivation)
  • Follow the monthly progress thread - (So you also want to showcase your own work)
  • Moral burden - (You promised that you will release a demo next month, so you gotta work on it)
  • Game jam - (Basically same as a deadline)
  • You looked back on what you have done and you don't want it to go waste so you try so hard to finish your game
  • You want to show people that you can make a game
  • You want to at least finish a single game. So you can avoid being categorized as people with no project completed.
  • Motivation seminar
@standardplayer I'd argue "inspiration" and "motivation" are two different things.
 

kovak

Silverguard
Veteran
Joined
Apr 3, 2016
Messages
1,264
Reaction score
1,570
First Language
PT - EN
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Discipline
That's the word cuz if you wait for motivation you may accomplish things slowly.
If you cant work in a piece of the game, move for another piece.
Work on your combat system, on your plot, on pixel art, on animation, on audio, etc...but never stop working.

As a depressive person i have to say: "What may bring motivation to the table is the act of working".
As you move forward things changes although we cant notice at first glance.
 

ImaginaryVillain

High Cultist of the Sporkle
Veteran
Joined
Jun 22, 2019
Messages
943
Reaction score
5,791
First Language
Absurdism
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
Threads like these just seem so unrelatable to me. This whole process is just endlessly fascinating to me, and I'm entirely here because I find it fun. I admit I've only had the program for 10 months or so, perhaps after years things would be different. But as of now I work a lot of hours in the week, often 60+ then I wander home and work on this stuff. So I guess I'm saying is I'm a workaholic with a perverse sense of what constitutes relaxation and fun.

TLDR: Workaholics need motivation to not work on something. :LZSwink:
 

doriantoki

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
116
Reaction score
29
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Threads like these just seem so unrelatable to me. This whole process is just endlessly fascinating to me, and I'm entirely here because I find it fun. I admit I've only had the program for 10 months or so, perhaps after years things would be different. But as of now I work a lot of hours in the week, often 60+ then I wander home and work on this stuff. So I guess I'm saying is I'm a workaholic with a perverse sense of what constitutes relaxation and fun.

TLDR: Workaholics need motivation to not work on something. :LZSwink:

We all can't be at 100% all the time. Sometimes it's inspiring to speak with others and see how they cope with, overcome, or manage their motivation levels. There's already been some great insight in this thread itself that has inspired me to tackle things in a different way.

When I was in my teens, my energy was endless. I would often become entangled with multiple projects as a pixel artist, and a lot of the work was pro bono. As I got older, my priorities shifted, as they naturally tend to do. I wouldn't be able to effectively manage as many on-going projects as I did before. And to be honest, looking back, the majority of the projects were not as fruitful. It seemed at the time to be more about improving my skills as a pixel artist, than an end result. With my priorities shifting, I am now focusing more on the end result, and on only one project at a time (generally ... there's a few on the back burner that I do come to from time to time, mostly from a writing/world building perspective).
 

woootbm

Super Sand Legend
Veteran
Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
218
Reaction score
148
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
The problem I struggle with is time. There's just so much I need to do in my regular life, and so much I want to do in my free time. When real life gets me down or exhausts me, I just can't help but want to unwind.
Threads like these just seem so unrelatable to me. This whole process is just endlessly fascinating to me, and I'm entirely here because I find it fun. I admit I've only had the program for 10 months or so, perhaps after years things would be different. But as of now I work a lot of hours in the week, often 60+ then I wander home and work on this stuff. So I guess I'm saying is I'm a workaholic with a perverse sense of what constitutes relaxation and fun.

TLDR: Workaholics need motivation to not work on something. :LZSwink:

I do feel like there is a bit of a disconnect here. Because I can endlessly work on stuff I find fascinating, too. HOWEVER, those are the fun bits. There's just so much that goes into making a game, and so much goes into creating an actual, fully functional product. And certain parts of the process are indeed a grind.
 

rue669

RueToYou
Veteran
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
481
Reaction score
391
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Motivation has never been my problem when making a game.

However in other aspects of my life where motivation is a problem, what I try to do is just devote 5-10 minutes on the task. That’s pretty easy to do. And what I find is that once I get started I don’t stop until I have to.

Granted, that probably stems from my personality so you may be different.
 

doriantoki

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
116
Reaction score
29
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Motivation has never been my problem when making a game.

However in other aspects of my life where motivation is a problem, what I try to do is just devote 5-10 minutes on the task. That’s pretty easy to do. And what I find is that once I get started I don’t stop until I have to.

Granted, that probably stems from my personality so you may be different.

Sounds a lot like you're talking about "getting into the zone". That zen-like state where you can work continuously on something for an endless amount of hours. I've caught myself in that, again, when I was younger. There were times where I didn't even realize that it was 3 am in the morning and I had just spent the entire day working on a project. The obstacle with that, and @woootbm alluded to this, is that it can take some time to "get into the zone". For myself, I need at least a couple of hours to warm up before I can start cranking out work without pausing. I think that life in general, can get in the way of that sometimes, even when you set aside time with the intention to do it.
 

Larry Jones

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Dec 20, 2014
Messages
99
Reaction score
89
If you don’t want to do it don’t do it

If you really want to do it you’ll do it

unless you’re stopping yourself with some story (maybe you’re thinking of this mountain of stuff instead of thinking of doing a little bit at a time, or maybe you’re telling yourself you “should” do it which is probably demotivating, etc)

You don’t have to do it

Also the word “finding” is passive and looking outside yourself, what about creating motivation. And maybe even drop the concept of ‘motivation’, there is only do or do not do I’m pretty sure Yoda or somebody said that.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MushroomCake28

KAMO Studio
Global Mod
Joined
Nov 18, 2015
Messages
3,941
Reaction score
4,853
First Language
EN, FR
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
The truth is that people find motivation in different places. For some it's social events, for others is watching others' project, or motivational videos, etc. Just find something for you and persevere. Game making is hard, and more often than not not that enjoyable.
 

FleshToDust

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
802
Reaction score
2,910
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I drink vitality potions.
If you have a dream game you should make that.
Making games you don't care about will bore you of course.
I don't know. I think if you have a strong enough desire for something, you'll see it through.
I don't really get the lack of motivation but my guess is you're making things that don't really inspire you.
 

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

Terrible Writing Advice, you've done it again.
1635026211997.png
Feeling like my new profile picture is nice. Thinking of making it semi-permanent, does any one has an opinion? Does it look too evil or does it work as a public profile picture? :)
Bishiba.png
My washing machine is a supernatural being. I lost a piece of clothing in there a month ago; searched up and down, inside other clothes, nothing. It just vanished.
Today, put in a new load. When I pull it out, the missing clothing is back! And a sock was sacrificed in the process :yswt2:

Forum statistics

Threads
116,029
Messages
1,095,082
Members
151,357
Latest member
a_single_firefly
Top