How to stay motivated?

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by tolworthy, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. tolworthy

    tolworthy New Member

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    How do you stay motivated when your inner passion is all used up?

    I've been working on my project for 13 years now. My subconscious is saying "13 years and you still aren't rich. Give it up." yet intellectually i know that this is the time to put in one last sprint: for reasons that would take too long to explain, this year I solved all the problems that held the game back, and massive rewards depend on me getting it finished now. But I am emotionally shot. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    13 years!? how is that possible? :eek:
     
  3. Chris

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    Scrap it. If it was dragging for XX years it is dead already. Make a new one, and this time with clear deadline (best if you make a playable and finished game in a month, this would give you the skills and attitude you need).
     
  4. Indinera

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    How many months do you estimate the "final sprint" to take?
     
  5. meds

    meds New Member

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    I figure everyone has been where I am stuck at currently, if other people can make it through the boredom why can't I?

    Also please don't take 13 years to make a game next time.
     
  6. tolworthy

    tolworthy New Member

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    It's a long term project, made of individual games that get faster and faster to make, due to how the project is designed.

    That's the irony: it's more alive than ever. The first 4 games had weaknesses that I think I have now solved, and they're getting easier and easier to make. But I still cannot say "on date X it will be perfect."

    2 months to complete the current game, then 4 months to create another game just to make sure I can do it without new problems arising. Afer that I can relax: I'll have a smooth production line that can generate a full length game of reliable quality and bring in reliable income every 3 months. But until then uncertainty reigns.
     
  7. Indinera

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    I would say, take a break of one week, then pack your house with red bulls and finish the goddamn thing lol
     
  8. electronicStar

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    I think you are subconsciously affraid of failure. Subconcious fears are vicious mind killers. Confront them, accept the fact that the games might not sell as well as you expect and be ready to keep working or moving on.
     
  9. tolworthy

    tolworthy New Member

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    I'm actually planning this as a 30 year project with 100 separate stories - this is just the teething period.

    That's probably a very sensible suggestion. I will give it serious throught. Thanks.

    Yes, definitely. I'm sure it won't fail if I give myself enough time, but for various reasons (too long to discuss here) getting it done in the next year would be like winning the lottery. The odds of failure in that short time span are very real, so yes, it's a question of fear.
     
  10. Grey Alien

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    How do you know you can bring in reliable income? Have you done it before? Most indies really can't predict how much income their next game will bring.
     
  11. tolworthy

    tolworthy New Member

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    The first game (that took years to make) sold enough copies to pay my bills for two months, despite numerous first-game flaws. I will soon be able to make a game of the same quality, without the flaws, every two months.
    Yes, in the short term I can't make guarantees, but in the long term I've designed the game to be noticed by mainstream media. That's why it's taking so long. I started out, years ago, by looking at what other indies were doing and why they seldom get rich despite excellent individual titles. I concluded that individual games are lost in the sea of titles, so the secret is to put all the effort into a project that has massive unique selling points and will expand continually until it's noticed by mainstream media. To that end:

    * I've found a niche that nobody else is filling (classic stories faithfully reproduced as games),

    * it appeals to a bigger audience than existing games (audience = anyone who has read a book or watched a movie),

    * at a price that nobody else can match (14.99 for all the games: eventually there will be 100, or 15 cents each, plus more for free - see below)

    * featuring the world's greatest stories,

    * and all titles (famous classics) have instant name recognition.

    * it's a project that could potentially grow to wikimedia proportions (after a few years I'll make the raw materials available so people can add their own favorite books)

    * It's a platform for narrative that can expand into other areas (education, promotion, communication in general)

    * there are other innovations that are too complex or subtle to make good bullet points (the delivery system, art style, user interaction, etc.)

    I don't claim to have got it exactly right yet, but I'm getting close. It's been a huge learning curve with plenty of dead ends, and that's why it's taking so long. But it will be worth it.
    He said, modestly. :)
     
  12. Grey Alien

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    OK then, glad you have a plan. Sounds interesting. Good luck with it!
     
  13. Desktop Gaming

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Homelessness and starvation are my motivation.
     
  14. Artinum

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    I found the best way to beat back procrastination is to stop thinking about the big picture. Break it down. I finished my novel (still haven't started the redraft yet - want to get some other stuff out of the way first!) by making myself write at least 500 words a night. That isn't a lot (often I wrote a fair bit more) but think of it this way - 500 words is small, but it's 500 more than not doing any. And I'll have a whole book down in six months at that rate.

    Similarly here - don't try to complete a game; try to do one part of it every day. Have clear goals, cross them off when done (that is ridiculously satisfying!) and keep slogging. One day you'll look up and see you're nearly at the finish line, and you'll wonder what happened.
     
  15. richtaur

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    That sounds naive. I hope you realize that there's no guarantee anyone will notice, especially mainstream media.

    13 years is too long; what you're doing isn't working. You should try another approach.
     
  16. tolworthy

    tolworthy New Member

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    Thanks. That's good advice. A problem in the past was that such timings were meaningless: a task that should take five minutes could easily expand into two days (e.g. some puzzle that had unexpected implications for other parts of the game). That's probably the single biggest drain on my enthusiasm. However, over the last couple of months I've finally nailed the the biggest cause of those problems, so I should be able to schedule with far more certainty from now on.

    I respectfully disagree. My first degree was in film and media, and even without that it's easy to see that the media is a business like any other: find out what they want, provide it, and they will use it often enough to make the effort worthwhile. My game stories are not limited to classic novels, anything with a narrative will do: news, science controversies, anything that grabs the attention and involves controversy, and will still be around in the two months it takes to make a new game.
     
  17. Desktop Gaming

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    13 years?! If you haven't finished your game in all that time then I'd bet it'll never be finished... and even if it is, the market is very different to what it was 13 years ago. So unless your secret game is Duke Nukem Forever then trying to sell it is going to be an ordeal.

    I never know how long my games are going to take - Magicville was two and a half years, my current game has been about seven months and is 99% done. If my games were taking so long that I'd only be able to do five or six in an entire lifetime, then I'd be taking a long hard look at myself and my approach to making games.
     
  18. Jack Norton

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    I don't understand: if your game are based on the writing, how can you say that soon will take only two months to make? if you're already burned out, how can you find the strength to work even more in future?
    I personally think big/long projects are really not worth doing for indies, though of course I also know personally indies who made TON of money with long-term projects. About the suggestion I'd recommend to take a break too. Take 1-2 weeks COMPLETELY AWAY from PC. Take a holiday or simply walk around/relax. It really worked for me in the past :)
     
  19. Grey Alien

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    I often suffer from a motivation problem AFTER completing a project. I find it hard to start the next inevitable slog.
     
  20. Desktop Gaming

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Know why? A year-long job is way too daunting for most people to take on. You've worked on it for so long, you've had the "moment" when it goes on sale, then you're right back to the start if you can tear yourself away from royalty-watching for long enough.

    Break it down into sub-projects and milestones, and its much easier to get stuck in.
     

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