One of the things that I think has held me back GREATLY with getting into game-dev is suffering for envy & jealousy. It probably is with a lot of people.
I remember a few years ago when I started my CS degree, I had made a pretty decent at the time text adventure/RPG (of course which I’ve now remade). I was speaking to another first year one day and he was talking about some 3D project he had almost finished. I ended up seeing that shortly after and was heavily discouraged. So this kinda made me put the game-dev thing on the back-burner until middle of 2012 where I finally made something, LSS. It’s terrible and only took a couple of days.
I have been discouraged many times over the years. Seeing 16 year olds code a better game than I ever could. Seeing people my own age release something that is just breathtaking. They all make me want to quit everything and just become a mindless, ignorant fool. “Oh no, poor little white cis-man struggling with his insecurity” you are probably thinking. Feel free to do so. My problems are insignificant compared to many others but this one is one I’ve recently overcome.
I managed to finish LSS because I went in knowing that the final product would be not very good. This is key to overcoming jealousy and envy.
I guess it’s bad to think this way. But it helps. It’s like setting the bar really low. Preparing for failure, not success.
As long as you don’t spend the entire time during a project thinking “this is the greatest thing ever made”, then probably you’ll have the will to complete it.
After doing this for a while, you do build up a bit of confidence. With Spring Of Life I knew that the end product wasn’t going to turn out great but I thought it could have some decent components. And despite the art, it’s an alright game. I even got positive feedback on it from various sources.
Le Lac on the other hand, I went in thinking “this could be fucking excellent.” It wasn’t. I didn’t plan or think enough about it from a design aspect. It turned into an interactive story with a fishing component. Great. I started looking at the other entries from the FishingJam. Some absolutely amazing things there and comparatively, mine is the worst. I don’t even have an feedback after it being out for two days. But that’s all okay.
I made it for myself. It started as an experiment. It turned into a bit of neat narrative (albeit a little clichéd) with a great soundtrack.
Great. It took me a few days to realise that what I had written was actually good.
This is another key aspect to overcoming jealousy and envy. You are primarily making the game for yourself.
Here’s another thing. Don’t expect feedback.
A couple of days ago, I started releasing music that I’ve written over the years (which at one a day would taken about 7 months…). No one has heard any of it apart from me and occasionally my partner. I’ve recorded/synthed them, put them up for public ears to listen and promoted them on various places. It was absolutely gut-wrenching when I saw that the first one had a play. It did inspire me to upload more (the rest of this week will have a new song every day.)
This doesn’t really elude to a point but highlights an issue. Getting any sort of attention is gutwrenching.
Of course, listening to other people’s music shows that mine is all terrible. This reveals a similarity to above to which the conclusion is: for every project you finish, there are an incalculable number of better ones out there. They don’t have to be of the same genre or type, but there will always be something better.
So, my points:
- Don’t start off thinking that the project is going to be the best.
- You are making the project for yourself.
- Don’t expect feedback.
- for every project you finish, there are an incalculable number of better ones out there.
I must admit that these are pretty grim, but they do certainly help.
Using these, I’ve released four games (1GAM Page. this year (soon to be five) and released four songs.
There will be a point where having to think this won’t matter. But that is not today.
Unfortunately, I still find it incredibly hard to participate in a community/forum, but that could be linked to my anxiety issues.