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  How do you not get bored of a project?  (Read 1439 times)
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Offline Jacob Pickens
« Posted 2014-03-03 05:37:29 »

I'll be honest here, when I get a project going. I tend to obsess over it. I often get bored really really quick (Within the first 1-3 days). So, how do you keep a project interesting? What do you guys do to keep working? Is too much work per day into a project bad? I'd really love some (helpful) replies. Thanks! Grin
Offline Rayvolution

JGO Kernel


Medals: 208
Projects: 2
Exp: 1 year


Resident Crazyman


« Reply #1 - Posted 2014-03-03 05:49:27 »

I've worked on my project about 4-8 hours a day, every day, since Jan 28th 2014 while juggling being a full time College student. I think the key is to not just focus on one single aspect of your game. Expand your talents in other areas (if you don't know how to do something, learn!), and you'll find yourself being about to run at 100% all the time.

For example, I may do nothing but program for a few days, then switch gears and just do graphics design, then switch back. Also, with more complicated projects something as simple as switching from doing a certain *type* of art or programming into another can keep things fresh.

Another huge factor is simply maturity, patience is a virtue people seldom have even late into adulthood, and is absolutely critical if you want to make more than a java remake of Tic Tac Toe. Cheesy

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
Retro-Pixel Castles - Survival Sim/Builder/Roguelike!
LIVE-STREAMING DEVELOPMENT: http://www.twitch.tv/SG_Rayvolution
Online LiquidNitrogen
« Reply #2 - Posted 2014-03-03 05:52:17 »

a to-do list is good motivation, breaking down the project into smaller tasks so you can see progress. also a solid design (even if its in your head) before you start makes it easier to see how far from the goal you are.

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline BurntPizza
« Reply #3 - Posted 2014-03-03 06:01:17 »

Gamify your game development!

Achievement get: Meta!
Offline kpars

JGO Wizard


Medals: 81
Projects: 4
Exp: 3 years


Extreme Typist.


« Reply #4 - Posted 2014-03-03 06:36:02 »

Yay, another 'Help My Project Is On Hiatus' thread!
I'm not being sarcastic, I love these because they help me understand I'm not alone.

I've come up with a new goal that helps me with my projects: Add something new every week, then show it off.

I haven't done the second part yet, which is to show it off, but I may get back to doing that at some point.

There are two different possible things that happen here. You either get bored of your project because you don't have a reason to work on it, or you often get discouraged by a tough bug. Both of these things have happened to me, but it all works out in the end.

Though I don't know if I should actually be giving advice here. The only games I've completed are Ludum Dare games. Emo

- Jev

Offline Gibbo3771
« Reply #5 - Posted 2014-03-03 07:40:53 »

Simple, make the progress visual.

Don't have graphics? Rob some shit place holders, test your code in a way you can see it.

Created a way to say, pickup items and use them? Create super weapon.


Got lots of cool ways of creating monsters or AI? Test it in a fun way.

You will start to lose interest if you keep everything boiler plate with no visual changes, never with on something for to long, can't get a certain but if code to work? f**k it, do later once you have had time to think.

"This code works flawlessly first time and exactly how I wanted it"
Said no programmer ever
Offline ctomni231

JGO Wizard


Medals: 99
Projects: 1
Exp: 7 years


Not a glitch. Just have a lil' pixelexia...


« Reply #6 - Posted 2014-03-03 09:34:36 »

The answers here are all very good, but the main topic all falls under the wide umbrella of procrastination. Read more on it here...

Procrastination Issues

To answer your question, I get bored of my projects all the time. The key is knowing when enough is enough and just stop. If you try to sit there and crank out code endlessly, it is probably going to end up being bad for your health. Varying your projects, and doing projects you have an interest in works wonders. However, even when I get those coding spurts I still suffer from the burnout afterward.

After this point though, I'll just be repeating what I said in that thread so read up if you haven't already. There is no programmer alone in this, we aren't robots... we are human beings. So stop trying to prevent yourself from being a human and vary your day Tongue.


Offline trollwarrior1
« Reply #7 - Posted 2014-03-03 09:36:44 »

You get bored after 1-3 days? Just how big are you projects? Cheesy

I mean, I can't really get done anything much in 3 days Cheesy
Offline Grunnt

JGO Wizard


Medals: 70
Projects: 8
Exp: 5 years


Complex != complicated


« Reply #8 - Posted 2014-03-03 10:43:47 »

For me it helps to set myself an attainable goal and the go for it. As in: my goal for last year was to make a bunch of mini games (4K versions) and have them played by others. My goal for this year is to get a simple game on the Android market and earn at least 50 euros with it.

Edit: and I'll be happy with myself if I manage to attain this goal; anything more is cool but not required for my satisfaction  Wink

Offline Varkas
« Reply #9 - Posted 2014-03-03 10:53:49 »

For me it depends much on the feedback that I get. While it seems that people are interested in the project I feel motivated to continue. If a project can't get any attention I usually stop.

At times projects are just not worth being continued. The difficult part is to recognize if it has potential and you just need to pull through, or if you are riding a dead horse and any sort of effort won't bring it alive anymore.

if (error) throw new Brick(); // Blog (german): http://gedankenweber.wordpress.com
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline JVallius
« Reply #10 - Posted 2014-03-03 11:20:53 »

Deadlines are good. Im currently participating to onegameamonth.com and I experience the feeling of success on every month when I finish a game. That keeps me motivated.

Derek's article about finishing games: http://makegames.tumblr.com/post/1136623767/finishing-a-game

Offline Slyth2727
« Reply #11 - Posted 2014-03-05 02:27:05 »

Deadlines are very good. I got more done in the final week of my project than in the previous 2 months. So certainly set a due date for yourself or at least something like, I want to implement this by this date. I find that to be the best motivation.

Was I before Chuang Tzu who dreamt about being a butterfly, or am I now a butterfly who dreams about being Chuang Tzu?
Offline opiop65

JGO Kernel


Medals: 154
Projects: 7
Exp: 3 years


JumpButton Studios


« Reply #12 - Posted 2014-03-05 02:29:09 »

By far yes, deadlines are the best. I could not believe the amount of code I wrote in the last Ludum Dare, it was my first game jam and I was just astonished to see what I managed to make myself do in under 72 hours!

Offline JFixby
« Reply #13 - Posted 2014-03-06 20:04:20 »

Show it some other people. When they massage your ego by saying that you are doing awesome stuff, you can't get bored  Grin

my dev log: http://jfix.by/
Offline Phibedy

Senior Member


Medals: 8



« Reply #14 - Posted 2014-03-06 20:19:44 »

We are working on our editor since 22.12.2012  persecutioncomplex
Quite a long time, but if I am bored I programm easter-eggs, for example if I press num-1 a 2D car pops up and you can drive it inside the map-editor.
After all the project wasn't meant to take so long, but it's in development and I am excited what it will be in some month   Grin
Sometimes I find code that I can't remember and don't know what it does and why I am using it but that's ok   Roll Eyes

The most important thing to not get bored is to have little aims because after you finished them you are motivated to add another snippet Smiley
Offline Varkas
« Reply #15 - Posted 2014-03-07 14:14:21 »

We are working on our editor since 22.12.2012  persecutioncomplex

That's my grief with software projects - they take so very long to get somewhere. At least if you want to craete anything nontrivial. I really admire the people who can whip up a game in a few days or weeks.

It might sounds illy, but a good support to keep going with a project is to make something that you need (if it's a tool) or want to play yourself (if it's a game).

Problem is that sometimes you want to play it when you start, but after working on and testing it over and over again, you don't want to play it anymore at some point ...

if (error) throw new Brick(); // Blog (german): http://gedankenweber.wordpress.com
Offline scanevaro
« Reply #16 - Posted 2014-03-07 14:35:48 »

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/ChrisShrigley/20140128/209509/Staying_Focused_and_Motivated_as_an_Indie_Developer_Working_Alone.php   Pointing
Offline Drenius
« Reply #17 - Posted 2014-03-07 15:02:05 »

@scanevaro: Saw that link before, but cannot find were it was. Must be another thread...
Offline Varkas
« Reply #18 - Posted 2014-03-07 15:21:51 »

I still think there is a difference in the need to stay motivated with a project that is supposed to make the money which you need to live, and a project you do for your own entertainment, or maybe for your personal achievement list.

The one is your job, the other is your hobby.

if (error) throw new Brick(); // Blog (german): http://gedankenweber.wordpress.com
Offline gimbal

JGO Knight


Medals: 25



« Reply #19 - Posted 2014-03-07 18:24:23 »

I still think there is a difference in the need to stay motivated with a project that is supposed to make the money which you need to live, and a project you do for your own entertainment, or maybe for your personal achievement list.

The one is your job, the other is your hobby.

Agreed yeah. If its your job then its easier to keep at it basically without a need for an incentive; I program stuff at work happily I would never think to do at home (financial software).

If you do something for the fun of it, IMO your main focus should be to keep it a fun project and less about making fast progress or writing epic code. For me that immediately means keeping it small and contained because both time and frustration really are killers of many of my projects.
Offline Rayvolution

JGO Kernel


Medals: 208
Projects: 2
Exp: 1 year


Resident Crazyman


« Reply #20 - Posted 2014-03-07 20:16:13 »

I still think there is a difference in the need to stay motivated with a project that is supposed to make the money which you need to live, and a project you do for your own entertainment, or maybe for your personal achievement list.

The one is your job, the other is your hobby.

Agreed yeah. If its your job then its easier to keep at it basically without a need for an incentive; I program stuff at work happily I would never think to do at home (financial software).

If you do something for the fun of it, IMO your main focus should be to keep it a fun project and less about making fast progress or writing epic code. For me that immediately means keeping it small and contained because both time and frustration really are killers of many of my projects.

The main reason it's easier to be motivated in a project that is a "job" as opposed to a "hobby" is the job offers a more consistent secondary reinforcer. You're "reward" for working hard is cash, and that cash in turn allows you to buy things that make you happy (thus, buying self satisfaction). Where as if it's a hobby, your only reward is self satisfaction directly (a primary reinforcer). But, if that self satisfaction starts to dilute or completely dissipated, your drive to work will tend to evaporate.

Psych FTW:
http://psychology.about.com/od/operantconditioning/f/secondary-reinforcement.htm

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
Retro-Pixel Castles - Survival Sim/Builder/Roguelike!
LIVE-STREAMING DEVELOPMENT: http://www.twitch.tv/SG_Rayvolution
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