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  programmer's dedication (or lack there of)  (Read 4247 times)
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Offline Seekely

Senior Newbie




I am java


« Posted 2004-04-20 13:42:33 »

After viewing the remains of yet another false start on a project  (the RTS topic in the Volunteer Projects), I was curious to know why so many projects never are fully realized.  

Yes I understand that they are all hobbyist projects so there is no real incentive to finish other than the programmer's own satisifcation, but I still sense a trend that I see in most programmers....a lack of dedication.  So many times I see projects that get started, build fancy webpages, advertise to get attention, and some even look promising, but after a month or so the project looked like it has just disappered with nothing but an outdated news section.  

While I do not claim to be one that has always finished started projects, I try to finish nearly everything I start.  I am not trying to sound "better than thou", but for me personally, not finishing leaves a big empty hole.  What are your guys opinions on "false proejcts", and if you have been a culprit to them numersou times, why do you think you see them continously happening?


http://www.untoldevils.com  
An RPG like every other, except this one is made by me
Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 186
Projects: 24
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #1 - Posted 2004-04-20 14:02:50 »

I'm a severe culprit of this, you might want to read this:

http://www.java-gaming.org/cgi-bin/JGNetForums/YaBB.cgi?board=polls;action=display;num=1080851516

To summarise my personal view, what little time I get I want to use effectively. If that means that my learning is maximised by starting 10 projects that I never finish, so be it.

However, this is why I also shy away from collaborating with other people on projects. The only time I've done this was after a bit of persuading. This way, the project finishes and hopefully doesn't effect anyone else.

Incidently, dedication in my case is to an idea, not to a particular piece of code. There are a few games in my mind that I'm dedicated to and they keep coming up in different incarnations.

Kev 'apparantly lacking dedication' Glass

Offline Mojomonkey

Senior Duke




ooh ooh eee eeee


« Reply #2 - Posted 2004-04-20 14:09:02 »

I'd have to say it's like anything else in the world, it's in no way limited to programming. That novel you started, those Spanish lessons you began, the guitar lessons you never went back to, the hundreds of dollars you spent on scuba equipment.

Don't send a man to do a monkey's work.
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Duke


Medals: 1


Who, me?


« Reply #3 - Posted 2004-04-20 14:14:17 »

The problem with programmers is that they're essentially magpies: they crave shiny things, and get bored easily.

Many projects falter because when you start design and prototyping everything is new and interesting, but once you get to the point that you know where you're going, interest is lost - what's left is "merely" implementation.  Other projects fail just because things take time - once you're finally getting somewhere with a project, new technologies and techniques have arrived, and there's a great temptation to go play with them instead.

I don't know what killed josrts, but from what I gathered at the time, exciting ideas were thrown about, they voted and settled on a final design, then everyone left.  Once it got down to the coding part, I suspect a number of people decided it was just too much work and lost their motivation.  The ones who were left just couldn't carry on alone.

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline javawillie

Junior Duke




Hola, Paco.


« Reply #4 - Posted 2004-04-20 14:20:49 »

Heheh, that's funny what MojoMonkey said.  I'll bet a lot of people can relate to that.  (Though I still mess around on the guitar every now and then.)

I think that personality comes into it a bit.  At least with me it does.  The kind of person that would want to start a game project in the first place is going to be a highly creative person who loves new ideas and who loves pursuing them.  Like Kev said they value the pursuit of the idea more than completing a project.  I'll bet in most of the cases, when one project is abandoned, it is so the person can pursue another project.

I've done this kind of thing my entire life.  For me the only way I finish something is if it's not just a hobby for fun.  Because otherwise, it's too easy to find other things you want to do for fun.  For example, I finished college and grad school.  I'm doing a game project right now, but I'm not thinking of it as a hobby--I want to start a company.

I think pacing has a lot to do with it too.  I suspect one is much more likely to finish a project if one allows yourself only a certain amount of time per day or week to work on it.  Then you retain an excitement to work on it each day.  I work two hours per weekday on my game and five hours each on Sat and Sun.  :-)

Willie
Offline Seekely

Senior Newbie




I am java


« Reply #5 - Posted 2004-04-20 14:31:58 »

Quote
I'd have to say it's like anything else in the world, it's in no way limited to programming. That novel you started, those Spanish lessons you began, the guitar lessons you never went back to, the hundreds of dollars you spent on scuba equipment.


I can definitly agree with that,  especially in the area of health.  I can't count the number of times I have had a friend or significant other say "I am really going to do it this time, I am going to work out 20x a day and lose a bazillion pounds" etc...and then stop one week later.

But the trend seems more obvious and apparent in hobbyist programming.  Maybe the majority of programmers who start tons of not-to-be finished projects are really creative 'artists" at heart and just happened to be stuck with writing millions of  lines of code as their biggest talent :-)

http://www.untoldevils.com  
An RPG like every other, except this one is made by me
Offline nonnus29

Senior Duke




Giving Java a second chance after ludumdare fiasco


« Reply #6 - Posted 2004-04-20 14:36:50 »

I don't think I have alot of failed or abandoned projects; I have alot of test projects on my hard drive that I've learned alot from; and I have some more test projects to come (networking for one).

I'm like Kev, I have an overall game I want to do and thats what I've been working toward for a couple of years.  I think it could even make a viable commercial venture.  But all the time I've spent learning, the bar on gfx quality, sound, and content has been sliding steadily upward to the point its very daunting to consider going indie.

One other goal I have is to put together a web page of "origional" (clones of classic style games rather) applet games and call it the java arcade or something.

I think its wrong to say that programmers that have been doing this for *years* lack dedication  Wink
Offline Seekely

Senior Newbie




I am java


« Reply #7 - Posted 2004-04-20 14:50:45 »

Quote

I think its wrong to say that programmers that have been doing this for *years* lack dedication  Wink


Oh and I do not mean to imply that in the slightest.  And their is a difference I think in projects that were started with no intentions ever to be completed or be for public use/viewing maybe serving primarily as a learning experience instead.    I do those kinds of "projects" all the time.

The ones that shock me are the ones that at the begining had every intention of being completed, showed tons of effort and investment in the proejct, made the project very public, and then just left it cold (much like the JORTS)

http://www.untoldevils.com  
An RPG like every other, except this one is made by me
Offline SpuTTer

Senior Duke


Medals: 1
Exp: 14 years


Lazy Middle Class Intellectual


« Reply #8 - Posted 2004-04-20 15:04:29 »

I think a lot of those projects are also created in haste by someone who really didnt think hard abot it. Inadequate planning, programming begins, everything is great until they hit some bumbs, a developer leaves, and the whole thing is in shambles.

Like they said also, people get bored. Im pretty good about doing that too. You work hard on your game, and you fix your showstoppers, game is almost finished, just need to do the busywork stuff. however, that part of the project isnt as complelling, so you scrap it and start over new so you have new problems to solve.

Sacramento Volleyball
"Whitty phrase goes here."
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #9 - Posted 2004-04-20 15:07:02 »

This is why game-ideas are worthless, and everyone in the industry would just laugh at you if you tried to act like your game idea was itself precious.

There's no shortage of creativity; the "difficult part" is actually two things:
- making it into a game *which you finish*
- not ending up with a boring game (and lots of people only manage the first by also achieving the second Wink - anyone can cut most of their features and thence ship on time, but not everyone can do that and yet STILL end up with a good game)

(plus no disrespect to all the other difficult parts; but these are the biggies).

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
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