You will never finish your game

Original author: Thomas Brush
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You will not finish your game. No, seriously, just give up, you're wasting time.

Or do the following: imagine the reward received from its completion - it can be money, or just a moment of joy from what you say to friends “I have, yes, I have a game on Steam”.

Unfortunately, most “indie game developers” are dreamers, not performers. This is what the file structure on their computer usually looks like:

I think you understand everything.

If you are like me, a similar set of files is painfully familiar to you. He was like that until recently (well, a couple of years ago) I decided to grab a dead grip on the original idea and develop it. Of course, the idea can be terrible, but the alternative is even worse: never finish anything. In my case, the crap idea turned into something I almost like. This is a Pinstripe game, and the third year of its development is already underway. ( From a translator : more about Pinstripe at the end of the article ) Next year it will be released on Steam, and I'm just delighted with it. Over the years, motivation faded, but I forced myself to continue, and learned a lot along the way.

I want to share with you some principles that helped me continue to work on the project year after year, and, I hope, will help to introduce it to the world.

Tell everyone what you can do.

To do this is like parachuting, very exciting and scary. Why? Sharing ideas with people close to you is very nice, but at the same time frightening. If you fail, everyone will remember this, and will not fail to remind you of this. Therefore, immediately tell your mother about your game and how you will earn a million dollars on it. Tell your girlfriend / boyfriend that you are going to make a second Minecraft. Let everyone in your life know about the project *. Then, if you decide to give up, you will be afraid of the consequences of everyone knowing how you gave up. Everyone needs responsibility, especially for what seems impossible (for example, releasing a game).

* Be careful not to set exact deadlines. Discussing ideas with loved ones is a double-edged sword. Friends will like the idea, they will pat you on the shoulder approvingly, but they certainly will not forget to remind you when you miss your deadline. So tell us about your idea, but answer the questions about the timing, “Everything will be ready when it is ready.” On their part, this will not necessarily be an inappropriate question - they can really take care that you do everything on time. But when creating indie games, getting into deadlines doesn't happen very often. In addition, there is a big difference in whether you abandoned the project, or it just took a lot of time.

Take the ebbs and flows of your enthusiasm

So, your project is excellent, you told relatives, friends and the boss about it. And suddenly, after a couple of weeks, you, secretly from everyone, understand that an idea is just rubbish. Congratulations, what you experience is the norm. So get ready for it. The moment you got a great idea, you need to immediately realize that you might not like it in a couple of weeks. And this is normal: most likely, your idea will take a different form from the original one, and new ideas related to the original one will help the project remain interesting.

Stop making excuses

Today you are too tired at work to play the game in the evening. Let me ask: does this somehow make you unique? Perhaps all successful game developers just do that rest and enjoy life, wiping black caviar from the lips with hundred-dollar pieces of paper? Here's what most of them do: work, work really hard, while losers most likely come up with excuses. This is not always true - some developers are lucky, others fail after many years of work. But here is the true truth: a successful indie developer accepts his fatigue and understands its connection with passion . The feeling with which you close the lid of the laptop after a sprint of two hours of evening work brings much more pleasure than watching Netflix and absorbing beer.

Caution: this attitude can make you a workaholic. You will destroy your game and relationships with loved ones. Remain committed to the project, but remember: this is just a game. Just a game . Always put work in second place after relationships with friends and family.

Don't be ashamed

Think about the things that you tried to do when you were younger and who are embarrassed right now. I do not mean wallpapers drawn as felt-tip pens in childhood. I’m talking about the story you were trying to write, about how you thought you could play in a student theater, or about trying to learn how to draw. When most of us try something new, it turns out unpretentious, we are shy and hide as soon as possible from ourselves and from others. After that, we just give up these classes. Such is the nature of man, but it is destructive. Imagine if every failure in the world would lead to shame and fading away of ideas. We would not see a single implementation, because everyone and everyone is mistaken until they succeed. Therefore, do not look back at the past with shame. Be proud of your efforts to succeed. This is simple math:many failures will most likely lead to victory . It may be small, but with each small success, more accumulates. Just keep trying and don't be ashamed.

But first of all, finish your game.

Complete it.


PS from the translator: I have already translated one article by Thomas Brush , it also spoke about his game Pinstripe. The current article was actually written a year and a half ago. This is not an advertisement for the game: yesterday, February 16, Pinstripe went on Kickstarter and collected more than the minimum amount needed (33 thousand dollars instead of 28 thousand) in a day, so everything with her creator will be fine, I think.

PPS in the comments “recommends” to transfer the article to Megamind, but there is not even a “Game” hub there. Where is her place? Habr, Giktayms, basket?

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