Mood swings in business... What to do?

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by lordmetroid, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. AlexWeldon

    AlexWeldon New Member

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    Alright... but if I get busted for "ruthlessly" killing my girlfriend and my dog, you're getting charged with incitement to murder. ;)
     
  2. andrew

    andrew New Member

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    I've had that problem a lot... I'm sure it's some form of latent ADD :> All you deal with all day is the flaws, and it's hard to see the fun potential over the large mass of bugs and features you have left to implement.

    One thing that really helps me, though, is getting other people involved in the process. It's amazing how a bit of new artwork, or feedback from a friend, can re-adjust your perspective towards your game.

    - andrew
     
  3. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    I watched some of the Gnomon DVD's with Feng Zhu? in them. In there, he basically sketches the crap out of stuff, doing really loose versions of lots of different ideas. Then he goes over the few pages of loose sketches and decides what he likes and doesnt like. Out of maybe 15 ideas he says he usually gets 3-5 that at worthwhile.

    I think with art, you just cant expect to get it right first time. So expect to make a lot of stuff that simply gets shelved. He says he keeps it around for inspiration or use on other projects. I guess you could do the same.

    Its a pity it doesnt work like that for coding :)
     
  4. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    I'm sure money (to live, not to get rich only) is the best motivation.
    Second is loving what you do. If you either don't need money (living with parents or other reasons) or you don't really LOVE what you're making, you will have hard time coming up for motivation.
    Since I have both motivations (need money to live and love making games) I never took a pause for more than 1 week in last 4 years.

    /rant mode on

    I find funny to see an artist from a supposedly poor eastern country asking insane rates of $500/image, justifying it by "I need to eat".
    Then finding another person from same place asking for $50 for identic quality if not better.
    Guess what? the 2nd person got hired to draw 20 backgrounds and I bet nobody still has hired the first one.

    Another example of someone that doesn't really NEED the money to live :D
     
  5. AlexWeldon

    AlexWeldon New Member

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    As an artist, I'd like to point out that not all images are created equal. Nor can they be measured in pixels or inches. Of course, a lot of artists and galleries charge for paintings by the square foot, but that's why you get these guys specializing in enormous landscape paintings that are 80% sky. They look very dramatic, and for the artist, it's a great way to optimize revenue vs. time if you're charging by surface area.

    I'm not saying your first guy wasn't trying to rip you off. He may have been... however, you can't just take two people's quotes and compare them directly. An artist's hourly rate will depend on their experience, financial situation, equipment and demand, while the number of hours taken to complete a project will vary based on experience, style, level of detail, customer pickiness, whether it's familiar territory for the artist, etc.

    Also, most artists will be able to adjust the amount of time they spend to your budget. Maybe if I was doing an image for my own project, or as a portfolio piece, I'd spend enough time on it that I'd have to charge $500 to a customer... but if someone comes to me and says, "can you illustrate this on a 100$ budget?" I'll say sure, they just won't get something as nice. Often the last few hundred bucks worth of time is spend fussing over details anyway, which individually would go unnoticed, but together give the impression of polish.

    It depends on a lot of things, in other words, and prices even for a single artist may vary widely for reasons that might not be completely obvious to the customer. These two images were both done for my own projects, but one would have cost a customer five times (!!!) more, and it may not be immediately obvious which one. (EDIT: Or, looking at them side by side, maybe it will... but the factor of five might be more than you'd expect.)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #25 AlexWeldon, Sep 17, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2008
  6. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    I know, but I compared directly the 2 artists images (also asked other friends so wasn't only my impression) and the difference for the end user is minimal. What I really wanted to say is that sometimes many people ask for too much, and in the end get nothing. Sorry for the OT actually :D
     
  7. DFG

    DFG
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    Heheheheh - some distractions are worth it. However, I stopped working from home a couple years ago because of this. There are just so many other interesting temptations!
     
  8. Viktor

    Viktor New Member

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    "Get rid of" doesn't mean "kill". Just have your girlfriend to walk the dog while you're working on a game! Is it ruthless enough? ;)
     
  9. Jim Prior

    Jim Prior New Member

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    I laughed at Alex's response! And DFG, you need to read the bible more!! :D

    I find working from home is both cool and difficult. It's a new thing for me also, first time since i changed professions about 4 months back.

    For each person there will be a different approach that works best, it just depends on the individual.
    I find i need to give myself some structure that starts right away in the morning when i get up to see my partner off to her job.

    To help define the structure i needed, i wrote it all down(once i realised i needed this approach, after the first month of wasting too much time!) to make it more clear in my mind and stuck it on the back of my door for a few weeks, so it had time to sink in and i got used to it.

    So for me the day starts with exercise, either a run or bike ride(I've got a great huge park close by) - this helps me focus on the day ahead and gets the blood flowing. I find spending too much time in my chair in front of the PC can really sap your energy levels, day afer day. So getting that regular physical activity really helps.

    Then when i get down to work i feel ready to go - the ideas have had time to settle during the last hour or so of exercise, or the particular problem at hand has had some good 'think' time. And it all flows from there really.

    If i find i'm stuck at some point in the day, I have a break and do something else for 30 mins or so(a bit of shopping/laundry etc), then get back to that point or move to something else if i'm having a real mental/creative block(and put it on the back burner for a while longer).

    But techniques will be different for different people(some hate to exercise!).

    Mental burn-out is something most people can suffer from at some point, I know some guys who work in AAA and they often get this after lots of crunch time. I asked him what he found the best way to recover from this and the answer was so simple - a holiday.

    I realised i hadn't been on a holiday for about the last 2 years, so yeah if you feel like you've reached a real brick wall check when you last gave yourself a proper holiday, a real break - no games/no code - just a proper break for a week or so?

    Jim
     
  10. xelanoimis

    Original Member

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    Think of what motivated you to start making this game.

    If you like adventure games, play one.
    If it's good, you'll want to create a good one too.
    If it's bad, you'll want to create one the right way.
    In both cases, you'll want to continue your project, or you'll put it on the right track.

    Also, building a website and announce it to the public does wonders.
     
  11. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I agree with that one :p

    Taking a break really is key. If you don't take a long break you'll either get depressed or go mad. It's as much a part of the game dev process as the planning or creation aspects are.
     
  12. DFG

    DFG
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    Me too, Ima jerk! :mad: :D
     
  13. DFG

    DFG
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    Another time management/mood management principle that I am finding helpful is doing the most important and usually hardest tasks first in the day when you feel the freshest and most alert. After you have worked 6 or so hours, you aren't as fresh - save the easiest most mindless tasks until then. Got that from Brian Tracy's book "Eat that Frog".

    Right now my brain feels fried and I want to go home but I did the stuff I needed to do earlier in the day so now I can review some potential games for the site and not have to think too hard. I am definitely not in the mood to expend any major brain power and even if I tried, the results would not be the best. Bad time to work on important things.
     
  14. Josh1billion

    Josh1billion New Member

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    Above all else, I strongly recommend this as well. :)
     

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