I was getting rather upset with myself for not finishing my game yet. I had spent a lot of time learning how to get the animation of the dog into a state that wasn’t completely crap but … that a game does not make. I couldn’t visualize what the game was about anymore and I couldn’t actually see the point of continuing. It seems sometimes that it’s easier to cut your losses and just give up when a project is not coming together and weeks have turned into months .
I used to spend a lot of time doing quick two week Dev runs for a game. In those two weeks I’d get a good feel for the game and by the end of it I’d know if it was going to be viable. I spend a lot of time planning and doing design docs and color charts and programming core functionality. It’s quick fun and satisfying but it’s not an end product and I probably wouldn’t even show most of those games to close friends. But that’s what they are about, learning quickly if your idea is going to work or not.
So this game was about taking an idea from start to finish. Making everything as good as I could. Spending time getting drawings right. It’s much harder and takes much longer than you think. And those weeks where not much happens really impact on the sense of progress and achievement. Its easy to slowly get disillusioned.
You might want to give up and start hacking for fun again. You might get stressed that time spent doing all this work for nothing was going to have you end up in the poor house (auto-corrected from poo house – which is a real place too). You might suspect that you have extended your childhood too far into responsible adult life and that you are a talentless man-child who will never do anything. Ermmm.
I know some get feelings like this more than others and I’m truly sorry for their pain in life. In truth I’m probably living in a fantasy world but its one of my own making and to fuel it I need inspiration. The desire to make games stems from a belief that if you do what you enjoy then you will be good at it and successful. Also I think the gamefication of life makes it better and more enjoyable.
Simple things like watching the Mrs trying to catch grapes in her mouth for the first time and Everything my son does. At nine everything he does is a game. He never walks to his room if he can jump pillows down the hall (lava!).
Games can be addictive. God knows I’ve had to strip even Tetris and Minesweeper from old computers just to get some “real” work done. So I have a vague feeling of guilt when I play games instead of making them or doing something else productive.
The point is there are good reasons to make games, and better reasons to try and make great one’s. So that’s what happened. I played a game I was using as a reference and benchmark for my own and quite simply it inspired me. So now let’s get back to making games.