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Thread: I cant be ...

  1. #1
    formerly hooligan2001 :) .hooligan's Avatar
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    I cant be ...

    Hey guys,

    I've been building a multiplayer flash game for about 7 months now and lately I keep hitting these humps where I cannot be f**ked working on it anymore.

    I think its the scale of the project thats doing it to me but I was just wondering how other guys keep themselves inspired to keep working on large projects? I was thinking that feedback from others would help but how do you show something that you don't want to show to much of. Also its alpha so not exactly pretty at the moment.

    Also was just wondering what you guys think about working on these large projects by yourself? Is it a good idea to get others involved?

    Sorry if this a dumb post.
    World Arcade | Facebook | Twitter - Follow MEEEE! or not......

  2. #2
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    it's not a dumb post. i'm famous with myself for not finishing anything. i think it's because i'm too perfectionist. let it go. release something ****ty. unless you're a sociopath with some unbridled drive for 1 and only 1 thing, it's kind of exhausting and unrealistic to assume you can complete enormous undertakings.

    anyway, take a step away from it for a week. get sidetracked with something else you find interesting that doesn't fit your game at all. or try restructuring something. i tend to shy away from stuff when i know i've built it sloppily.

    good luck!

  3. #3
    formerly hooligan2001 :) .hooligan's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply newblack. I know what you mean by perfectionist, because there is no deadlines I spend too much time trying to get it perfect. It's normally code that works fine but I think it can be written smarter. I remember reading somewhere that if it works and it isn't slow then move onto the next thing (I think its something squize may have mentioned once). I can always come back to it when its done I guess.

    I think I'm going to finish the current parts and then maybe take a break like you suggested.

    I really want to get it into some form of maybe closed alpha testing soon. So I can get some feedback constructive feedback whether its good or bad I think helps motivate. But I cant really work out how to pimp the project without giving away unique features

    Have you ever run a closed alpha before or participated in one? How do they work? Do you have to make nda's for the testers to sign?

    Thanks again newblack
    World Arcade | Facebook | Twitter - Follow MEEEE! or not......

  4. #4
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
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    Did I say that ? I'll take credit for it as it's true No one cares how clever the code is, it's all about the game. Whatever you code you can always code better, but save that for the next game, not the current one.
    If you go down that route of refining and refining, all that happens is that you'll feel all pleased with yourself, and you know what now you've saved a couple of fps you can add another new feature. Before you know it feature creep has killed your game.

    It may be a personal project but treat it like a job. It's almost in an alpha state now, so what realistically do you have left to do ? How many more months have you got left to go ? Can you cull some features to get that done quicker ? Break it down into smaller parts.
    Put times to each of these parts. I find I always budget half a day for sounds, and it always takes 2, so whatever you plan in terms of time double it. That'll account for the nights where you just can't face it or those sticky bugs that take hours to fix.

    Don't worry about being too anal when putting times to parts, unless you're really organised you're going to forget some parts ( Damn it, the preloader needs doing. Then I need to drop an ad in there, so I've got to set that up in mochi etc. ).
    It's just a rough guide, but you should have yourself a deadline. Now is this deadline miles away ? Can you face working on it for that long ? There's a great phrase that goes along the lines of "Don't be afraid to murder your darlings", if you're going to be working on this for months yet, maybe it's time to just give up on it.
    I know that's not the usual attitude, there's that whole you should finish it no matter what, but there comes a point of diminishing returns. We all have lots of unfinished games on our HDs, so long as you've learnt from it then I don't really think it's a loss.
    Remember it's a personal project, they're meant to be fun, not a slog to the finish line ( That's what client projects are for ).

    If after weighing it up you still want to do it, a blog is a very good motivator. Write down your progress, there's nothing better than people showing a real interest in your game, plus it helps give you focus and no one wants to fail in public, so you have that added spur.

    So a blog and a deadline. I could have saved myself some typing by just writing that at the start.

    Squize.

  5. #5
    formerly hooligan2001 :) .hooligan's Avatar
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    Hey Squize, yeah I think you said it. It's sometimes my excuse to be lazy. "Well it sort of works, Squize recommends I move on". But mostly to stop being anal about things that aren't going to make much difference like you mentioned above.

    Your definitely right about the blog and deadline. Makes you not want to let people down that are following your project.

    I think also that taking time off to re-design the world arcade website and tac a dev blog onto it might be what I need. The problem I have is working out deadlines. I could have sworn the current screen was going to take me a week, which turned out into 3 weeks. Just scenarios that were too hard to see in the planning stages. It's still going to be a couple more months before I'm able to call this baby an alpha. But for me the difference between a final release and the alpha/beta is graphics and sounds so should be almost completely functional.

    I think I'm so used to working towards a goal of being paid for my work, that spending so much time on something personal starts to make me lose motivation because the only reward is "ahh its finally done". But the thing that keeps me working on it is I know its going to be something good.

    Thanks for the reply Squize.
    World Arcade | Facebook | Twitter - Follow MEEEE! or not......

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