Need Motivation (plus screenshot of my WIP game)

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by bantamcitygames, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    I'm a part-timer (~5 hours a week... i know... not much) and I've been working on a 2D space MMO for about 2.5 years now. I was moving along slow and steady (about 60% to a beta), but in the past couple months I was working 70+ hours at work (day job) and then when that was over I took a couple week vacation to visit family in Florida. So during this time I didn't do any game dev and now I'm trying to get back into it but I just have no motivation. So I was hoping that posting a screenshot of my current WIP would get some feedback and rally my spirits back. So here it is:

    [​IMG]

    Please give me my pep talk and send me back into the salt mines cus I seriously need to get this thing released.
     
  2. Nexic

    Indie Author

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    Quit your day job, then you'll be motivated :) Okay probably not the most sound advice to follow there. But it is true that whenever you feel comfortable financially you tend to naturally lose some drive. Definitely happened to me.

    Do you want to do your day job forever? Do you like 70 hour weeks? Or would you far rather rake in the cash whilst working to whatever schedule you want? If you don't work on this new game, you're essentially waving goodbye to that dream. I can't tell you this game will definitely be a huge success, because I don't know. But I can guarantee that you'll be stuck working for crappy employers for the rest of your life unless you knuckle down and start releasing games again. The opportunities for indie developers have never been better, but it may not stay that way for long. Get back in the game while you still can.
     
  3. chaosavy

    chaosavy New Member

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    Does look great :) even if pace slows down, it still moves eh? Keep at it

    Post some vids or more screen shots, also post on:


    http://www.reddit.com/r/indiegaming/


    and forums.tigsource.com for more feedback :)
     
  4. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    I agree with nexic, when I was working part time (and even more hours than yours) I wasn't getting much done. Quitting my day job was the best thing I did, though I didn't have a family to mantain of course. Every situation is different but being part-time indie really sucks :(
     
  5. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    Thanks guys... unfortunately quitting is not an option for me at the moment. I have a wife, 1 year old and another kid on the way, plus a house and 2 cars, and we are in need a of a bigger (and obviously more expensive) house due to the aforementioned offspring. My games may never make enough money to go full time, but its always been a dream of mine so I'll keep at it... just feel stuck in a rut right now. The most depressing thing is that at my current rate of development, my game will most likely be old hat before its ever released.
     
  6. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I dunno. If the main job pays the bills I'd only work on your game when you feel motivated and it's fun. That 1 year old will only be a baby for so long - game dev. will keep.
     
  7. Indinera

    Moderator Indie Author

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    Quit the shoot'em up genre.
    After you're done with this one.
    Try something that make more cash.
     
  8. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    Yes I think making a MMO shoot'em up was probably one of the worst ideas for a game to do in the part time. I mean if you want to release something. I see to many devs (especially working alone) trying to make the supergame part-time which will never be finished... (like that Unity3d sci-fi game in those forums a few months ago).
     
  9. teoma

    teoma New Member

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    What's left to finish on it? Like what are your main milestones you need to get done before you release the first version? Is it playable yet?
     
  10. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    @lennard - good advice... I'm sure my wife would agree with you as well :)

    @Indinera/Jack - while the game is an MMO, a shoot'em up is not really what I was going for... although it does have elements of that. At this point I'm not sure if the game will be released in my original vision due to time constraints, but I was going for something a littler deeper... I guess we'll see. Also, the main reason I decided on an MMO was because I was part time. I felt that if I can release the game (I know, a big if), then I can grow a community and make improvements to the game for many years as my player base increases (and therefore my income). I compare this to non-MMO games where you release a game (still taking me over a year at 5 hours per week), which gets an initial spike in sales and then you need to rely on the 'long tail'. This long tail just wouldn't be enough money for me to ever be full time if I can only release 1 game per year.

    @teoma - most of the pieces are there, but in a very simplistic sense. I have one of the main pieces to finish (also keeping it basic right now) and then once the base is there I will begin alpha/beta testing + iterative improvement releases for the foreseeable future.

    Thanks again for the replies... while some of them lacked the motivation I was looking for, just talking about the game with others has gotten my head a little more 'in the game' so to speak.
     
  11. teoma

    teoma New Member

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    I think the biggest thing is get people playing it (or playing with it) as soon as possible. Even if it's just a 'toy', and there's no concrete objectives coded in, just having a few people have fun messing with it can be a huge motivation. That's when you go from 'omg, I have this huge game to finish' to 'how can I make this slightly more fun this week'?

    Granted, that's really hard to do if you're still building the game engine, but even just having someone to share with helps. I try to work using agile systems (like scrum), even when coding my own projects, so the focus is on regular tangible deliverables instead of 'hidden' code/features. Being able to tell your friends 'I'm going to add feature X this week', and then doing it can be a huge motivator.
     
  12. Nutter2000

    Original Member Indie Author

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    I'm in pretty much exactly the same situation as you I think.

    I had to quit freelancing last October after a year of no contracts and get a full time dead end job, which I utterly hate, because I had a wife, a 1 year old (now in the terrible twos :() and a new baby on the way (now 11 weeks old :))

    I've been finding it incredibly tough to find time to work on my games, I spend pretty much all day at work thinking about them and planning what to do but when get home at night between not neglecting the toddler, the baby and the missus I get roughly an hour one to do my own thing during week nights if I'm lucky, which is normally interrupted, and less at weekends.

    However, just lately I've been trying to turn it around and think of it as an opportunity rather than a curse (and believe me it's been hard to do so).

    I've started trying to look at things more positively.

    Because of the limited time every little milestone is a step forward, no matter how small.
    That gives me a small boost from getting tasks done.

    Every idea needs to be slimmed down to the bare bones, I can't let my games bloat with feature creep, it's been a big problem for me in the past but I just don't have the time for it any more.

    I plan to be satisfied with releasing the core game play, get that right and add the extra features later.
    Fortunately, we're living in a time where we can do that with digital downloads, we don't have to have a big hit right at the start we can build incrementally and over time (imho).

    Got to get organised, I've been trying to set a small amount of time at night when I can try and work uninterrupted and away from any distractions.
    It's hard as an indie because the web is always available, but cutting out things like TV is a great help. We have a very small terrace house so there's no room where I can make it my own office and hide away so I need to be ruthless.

    Don't re-invent the wheel, as a coder it's tempting to write your own stuff because you understand it then but with limited time you can't really afford to so, if possible, finding code that someone else has done that does bog standard mundane stuff is a great way to step up.

    Release quickly. This especially works with an MMO, because as you say you're building a community over time not a one off AAA game.
    Collect email address or have another way of communicating with the players outside of the game and just release iteratively as and when you can then let your community know.
    This is similar to the concentrate on the small core features.
    Someone said to me recently, it may not be perfect but a game released will make a lot more money than a bunch of dusty source code sitting on your hard drive.


    I'm no expert and I'm still trying to figure out what works for me as well but I hope that's of some help.

    Iain
     
  13. Laser Lou

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    If you are not feeling motivated to complete the game, there may be a good reason for that. I suggest you step back, and try something new; maybe another game, or another pursuit. Later, you might be able to return to the game with a fresh perspective,
     
  14. dantheman363

    dantheman363 New Member

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    I like the screenshot. Does that help your motivation? :)
     
  15. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    @teoma/Nutter - both very good advice... useful and also helping with the motivation... I appreciate it. Nutter, not that you were looking for any, but from one part-timer to another, one tip I have learned over the years is to negotiate with the wife for 1 night a week where you can work 4-5 hours for a solid block of work time. Its hard to do with kids, so some weeks I have to do without, but this approach felt much better to me than the 1 hour per night thing that I was doing previously.

    @dantheman - yes! (unless you were just blowing smoke up my ass :))... one reason why I posted the screenshot was to try to get some positive feedback in an effort to build some motivation... even though its a bit rough around the edges and still has some placeholder art in a few spots
     
  16. dewitters

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    Same here as Bruno and Iain: I have a wife and 2 kids (3 and 1 year old), full time job, and need to finish some things in our house and build the garden. I think priorities is everything, and all that can be dropped needs to be dropped (TV, web surfing, etc). I also noticed that you have to make sure you get plenty of sleep, because else you're a wreck during the daytime (yes, I'm probably getting old :().

    Bruno, why do you work 70+ hours a day for your employer? Do you get compensation for those extra hours? I do the 'official' hours we agreed upon, maybe a bit more, but surely not 30 hours a week more. Make sure your employer isn't exploiting you.

    Your game looks great, but I guess when any geek sees space ships shooting at each other, it looks like fun ;). You know how to reach the finish: one step at a time. Keep going and your game will be released before you know it. Besides, the toughest time with kids is when they are small, it gets easier when they get a bit older.
     
  17. Nexic

    Indie Author

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    The whole release early and iterate approach can work nicely with MMOGs, especially if you don't have a whole lot of funds available. It worked out quite nicely for me.
     
  18. Nutter2000

    Original Member Indie Author

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    Thanks Bruno, all good advice is very much appreciated ;)

    That is a really good idea, I'll have to try and do that thanks! :)
    will let you know how it goes!

    Realised I forgot to comment on your screenshot, I like it too, even in it's current state it makes me want to play it.
    Keep going and get a test release out as soon as you can :)

    Iain
     
    #18 Nutter2000, Jul 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
  19. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    I quit my job in 2005 with two kids (Aged 4 and 2) a mortgage and car and cat, and went indie. I had no choice but to succeed. It was extremely difficult but it panned out in the end. Also I didn't make any MMOs.
     
  20. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    A few people have mentioned it so I just wanted to make one clarification... the 70+ hours was for about 1-2 months while we got out a new product release. This sucked big time, but it rarely happens at my job. The reason I mentioned it was because it was the thing that burned me out and what caused me to lose my motivation for game dev.

    Thanks everyone for the good advice and also for the comments on the screenshot... this has all really helped me get my head back in the game and I'm planning to start my 1 night/week back up tomorrow night.

    Hopefully I'll be releasing an early beta before you know it. :)
     

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