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Crisp_N_Dry
29-01-2003, 03:11 PM
Is it just me or does anybody else have trouble actually finishing games. I have started countless projects over the years but always seem to get bored with them when they start to near completion. In fact, I've think I've only ever finished 3 games in five years and they were the ones that I made when I first started programming. It seems that the more experience I get in making games, the harder it is to actually finish one. The closest to finishing a big project was a Worms clone but I couldn't be bothered to finish the weapons off properly. Now that I have started a new project, I am scared I won't finish it. I wouldn't mind so much but I really like the idea of this new one. Anybody in a similiar position?

Gadget
29-01-2003, 03:46 PM
Is it just me or does anybody else have trouble actually finishing games. I have started countless projects over the years but always seem to get bored with them when they start to near completion. In fact, I've think I've only ever finished 3 games in five years and they were the ones that I made when I first started programming. It seems that the more experience I get in making games, the harder it is to actually finish one. The closest to finishing a big project was a Worms clone but I couldn't be bothered to finish the weapons off properly. Now that I have started a new project, I am scared I won't finish it. I wouldn't mind so much but I really like the idea of this new one. Anybody in a similiar position?Is it just me or is that font huge? Seriously though.. You should go back and finish them! :)

TheLion
29-01-2003, 06:03 PM
It's not just you ! :)

Mostly I make design mistakes at the beginning so I can't finish them, put your projects on ice for a while, learn new stuff and then try to finish them... it didn't work for too many games of mine though :)

Sly
29-01-2003, 10:09 PM
I've lost count on how many projects I have started and never finished over the last seventeen years. It is all experience though. Every time you start a new project you have learned that little bit more from the previous unfinished project, so the new project gets a better start. If you want a job in the games industry, then unfinished projects will not hold you back much either as long as they show your skills. Of course, finished projects also show that you can take something through to completion, which is important as well.

Alimonster
30-01-2003, 08:38 AM
Congratulations Crisp_N_Dry, yours is the first DGDev post that's visible from Outer Space!

Sly said it well. I have a heap of unfinished projects but it doesn't matter to me. I'll either finish them one day or I won't, but they will always be around if I get motivation. Don't worry about it too much. As long as you're trying to do something then you'll keep improving.

But finish your damned game first!

BojZ
16-04-2003, 01:01 PM
I >SAW< your message, it wasn't hard at all!

Here's how we do it.

The problem is loss of motivation. That's the main reason that we've found to create "ALMOST games".

1. Make a checklist. You'll probably need a "gamedesign" first. It proves to be very effective agains motivation loss. You get some feedback when you check an item off the list, and you see how much more (but LESS) work till the game is "finished".

2. GET A TEAM! It is frustrating to do all the stuff by yourself if you're making "a more than a small game". From my experience it SUX to know that once the "engine" is done it's "only" GFX, SOUNDS, MUSIC and last but not (at all!) least THE STORY that needs to be done. On the other hand it feels GREAT when a member of your team asks you if your part is completed, because his/her part is, and they're waiting to go to the next phase of the project, whatever that might be. You can also use those "free" members to do other stuff, gather info for future projects, test the game,... all the time there's something new/else to do.

3. GET TESTERS. This however can be a "problem" as testers might drop a space-freighter-load of bug reports resulting in loss of the gamemaker's motivation. But you DO get the feedback and if you love making games it shouldn't be a problem.

4. THINK OF THE FUTURE. Are you making a game to get some "ka-chin-chin" or just because as far as the socienty you're surrounded with thinks it's cool. Money usually takes care of the "motivation business".

Hope it helps... It works with BojZGames.

BojZ

Harry Hunt
17-04-2003, 04:56 PM
The problem you described is called creative burnout and there are several ways to fix that:

1. Write a design-doc. Do not start a game without having a detailed concept of what's it going to look and feel like. Once the design-doc is done which may take several months, do not add new features to your game. That's also one of the reasons why people don't finish their games - they keep adding features until the project becomes too big for them to handle it.
Also, set yourself goals like "I want the drawing routines of the engine to be completed by the end of june". Make a step-by-step list like
"finish the drawing routines by the end of june".
"finish the level editor by the end of august"
"implement the level-file import routines by the end of october"
etc.

2. Write smaller games. My first game ever was a simple number-puzzle game. My second game was a Sokoban clone. My third game was a point-and-click adventure game that never got finished. My fourth game was an isometric action-rpg that also never got finished. See how there's nothing inbetween "Sokoban" and "Adventure"... After my failed RPG, I wrote a tetris clone that got finished and then I wrote like ten smaller games in a row that all got finished. Now I'm in the pre-production phase of my first platform game... i do believe that I have the skills to write a bigger game, but I want to keep it small. I rather finish three smaller games than start five bigger games that all end up unfinished and wasting space on my hard disk. :D

3. Write re-usable code. I have a giant code library that theoretically would enable me to write a simple game in a couple of hours.

Momor
17-04-2003, 05:33 PM
Hey no you are not alone !! The loss of motivation seems proportional to the amount of time spent on the project (at least for me) : my latest game, Froogz, took me nearly one year to complete, and I really don't want to see it anymore for now !!!!

Also motivation can be boosted by some users or friends who get involved in the game (testing, design).

About writing a design doc, in my case it won't have helped since I hate writing docs, so this would have added more to the loss of motivation for the project (another boring task ...).

Another idea could be : work on several small projects at the same time, then switch to another one when the current becomes boring ?

M109uk
17-04-2003, 10:14 PM
:lol: i don't know about everyone else but im working on 4 huge projects at the same time, and i have a problem of always finding a better way of doing something then restarting the whole project from scratch again :roll:.
2 of my projects i have been working on for about 2 years and must of restarted it 1,000 times by now.

I can never stick to docs i write, i always think of something i want to add while im writing it :D.

I find it a lot easier that i have 4 projects because when im bored of 1 i carry on with another, and so on.

Alimonster
18-04-2003, 09:38 AM
Perhaps developing on a crappy PC is the answer! I can't get any work done if games run smoothly ;).

Actually, I've got into an annoying habit that sounds a little like yours, M109uk -- I had some base code for my projects that I copy and paste over between projects. However, if I change any part of it then I find myself going back through the other projects and changing them too - by which time, I've lost impetus on the first project! :roll:

Changing the subject back to the main theme: so, Crisp_N_Dry (assuming you're still paying attention to this thread), have you managed to finish your game and if so, how did you go about it?

M109uk
18-04-2003, 03:01 PM
Actually, I've got into an annoying habit that sounds a little like yours, M109uk ...


Yep that sounds about right :roll: i have 3 projects that are using the 4th project (The Engine) so when i write the game, i keep thinking of better ways of doing things and have new ideas for the engine, so then i go back and change them and oops i find that i have to change things in the game project to use the new elements in the engine :lol: