Author Topic: Burn Out  (Read 13789 times)

guest509

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Burn Out
« on: October 27, 2012, 03:06:38 AM »
During the last run of the 7DRL I was pumped coding again. I'm not that great at it, so it seems, but I was having fun.

Recently I put another game into the pipe, GUNFIST. A simple shooter with roguelike levels and dumb robot enemies. It should be easy to do, I've done similar things in the past. I just can't find the motivation. I just hit a brick wall with bugs and weak animations and what not. I get discouraged, disgusted even.

It's just not fun. Ruins the whole experience. You end up with these talkie projects. Great ideas, totally doable, but will never see the light of day.

So it's back to table top games for me. Those I can do. I've been working on my spriting too!

EDIT: I really applaud those that stick to programming. Very disciplined.

Krice

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Re: Burn Out
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2012, 08:36:52 AM »
I have similar feelings. Now more when I go to work (not unemployed at the moment). I have three projects, each of them hard (well, Kaduria is the hardest one). Slow progress is making me mad, but I think my position is still better than yours, because I do get something done even it's slow.

guest509

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Re: Burn Out
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2012, 09:38:34 PM »
  Yeah. It's frustrating to get nowhere. I make games for fun, after all, so if it's not fun then I feel justified in quitting. Especially when I can spend my energy making tabletop games and scratch my creative itch just fine.


Alex E

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Re: Burn Out
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2012, 06:14:06 AM »
That's how most of my projects end. I get to the point of feeling ehhhh whenever I work x game. After a few months of working on my first roguelike it became painful to even think about it. Whenever I reach that point in development, I try to wrap up the game as quickly as I can.

I find it amazing how some people can work on their projects for years without going insane.

ido

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Re: Burn Out
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2012, 11:56:46 AM »
Don't worry too much about it. Not every project was meant to be "finished" - some stuff sounds good on paper but if you can't bring yourself to work on it maybe it's not meant to be.

I used to beat myself up for not "finishing" (i.e. working post-7drl week) my 7drls, but I've learned to accept it & to be happy I managed to create something interesting in a week, and keep it at that.

guest509

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Re: Burn Out
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2012, 06:32:48 PM »
  I guess thats how I feel as well, in the end.

  I posted on this just a couple of days ago, then I listened to the Dwarf Fortress RLR episode and guess what. I'm back at it. Different project, of course. :-)

  So it goes.

-JO

Krice

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Re: Burn Out
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2012, 08:49:43 PM »
I need something new.

XLambda

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Re: Burn Out
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2012, 10:33:12 PM »
I find it amazing how some people can work on their projects for years without going insane.

It requires a ton of far-sighted design and a ton of motivation. And if the design is bad (or the language is C :P), even more motivation.
And even then, there's always the lure of a complete system rewrite from scratch. It's a ton of work, but it promises to make coding fun again.  I'm at that point ATM. I've learned a lot from my current project, and while my old code is horrible, I'm motivated by the thought of soon having a far better architecture.

Andrew wrote a little article about roguedev burnout a while ago. I'm sure most of you have read it but I've linked it anyway because it is so very true.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 10:34:56 PM by XLambda »

tuturto

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Re: Burn Out
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2012, 08:01:07 AM »
It's really easy to get burned out with roguelike project, because they tend to be rather big and complex. Just thinking about all the work ahead can give you a headache.

I'm coping with this by not thinking about all the work that I have to do :) And by trying to get working game as fast as possible. If I were to start writing a new game, I probably would start from the end boss, walking and fighting. I would be working sort of backward order of what player is going to experience. The game would be playable sooner and it would be easier to stay motivated.

Seeing constant progress and getting steady feedback helps with big projects like these games.
Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't.
 - Bill Nye

TheCreator

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Re: Burn Out
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2012, 03:30:10 PM »
Right now I'm working on 4-5 projects, but only one of them is a complex roguelike game. I don't think it is possible for one person to finish more than one roguelike project (not counting 7drls and other crap like that). In my case this is quite simple. When I get bored with my roguelike, I temporarily move to another smaller project and then after some time I'm really happy to return to the roguelike, so it's not dangerous for me to have those smaller projects. It's hard for me to imagine myself working on two or more huge projects.

So here is my advice. Choose one RL and work on it until you know you really love that project. Don't start a new project up to that point. Don't throw away the old code to start again from scratch (doesn't work!). Don't listen to the little devil in your head that keeps saying "Man, this project is so shitty." Don't go for 7drls (a waste of time). And remember that if you want to travel around the world, you should expect some deserts on your way ;).
Fame (Untitled) - my game. Everything is a roguelike.

Quendus

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Re: Burn Out
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2012, 07:43:05 PM »
Don't go for 7drls (a waste of time). And remember that if you want to travel around the world, you should expect some deserts on your way ;).
If you want to cook meals for a hundred people, you should expect some orders for desserts. Take the occasional break for a 7drl. ;)

Krice

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Re: Burn Out
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2012, 07:14:03 AM »
Don't go for 7drls (a waste of time).

7DRLs (or small projects) can be helpful since they let you work on some problem in small scale. I know I learned some things when I was programming Teemu which would possibly have taken longer time to realize with only Kaduria as a roguelike project. Then again, maybe you already know these things well. Then it's a waste of time, because a real, possibly even major, roguelike is something you want to do.

Paul Jeffries

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Re: Burn Out
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2012, 12:25:30 AM »
I find the trick with programming big projects is to do a little bit each day.

That probably comes across as a general-purpose 'keep at it, champ' platitude, but that's not quite what I mean: when you're writing a bit of code of any decent size being able to build and maintain a mental model of the way the program is working and the relationships between its different parts is vital.  You need to be able to see the whole whirring mess of machinary in your mind's eye in order to understand the effects of tinkering or adding to it.

I tend to find with coding that once I've established at least a vague feel for the structure of the code my productivity shoots through the roof.  But even if I leave it alone for as little as one day that mental map starts to break down and it can take sometimes several weeks of painfully slow picking at the code until I can fully rebuild it.  So, even if I don't feel motivated to do any coding for a few days I try to at least open up the IDE and glance through the code of a class that I haven't touched in a while just to slow down the decay a bit.

Krice

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Re: Burn Out
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2012, 07:51:57 PM »
I find the trick with programming big projects is to do a little bit each day.

I don't know. It feels like you have to force yourself. One problem is that when you get older games somehow are not interesting anymore. So it's quite difficult to get excited about them. When you are young everything is more interesting and there is something to reach for. Or maybe I'm just depressed.

Darren Grey

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Re: Burn Out
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2012, 11:01:58 PM »
I think when we were younger it was easier to latch on to one thing and get really obsessed with it. Burn out was never an issue back then.