Industry veterans and GameDev.tv’s Rick Davidson & Tim Ruswick* are here to offer tips about keeping your motivation up during a game jam.
At one stage or another, we all find it hard to keep motivated. This Devology Livecast should help you overcome this.
(*Rick has more than 14 years experience in the game dev industry, working on IP's that include Mario, Transformers, Captain America and Mortal Kombat. He's done it all, from Game Designer, Producer, Creative Director and Executive Producer to GameDev.tv's very own Instructor extraordinaire. Tim Ruswick is a successful YouTuber and indie dev, who's created more than 30 games in the last 5 years (wow!), and joined GameDev.tv as our marketing monster).
Listen to the whole chat here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYQJH29PAp0
Our 'AHA' moments
- Descope your projects
- Pick a priority and focus on that
- Bad feedback doesn’t always mean the game is bad
- Turn fear into fun
Number One Tip On How To Stay Motivated While Working On Something (3:35 - 6:25)
It’s normal for motivation to come and go, the key is knowing how to deal with it efficiently. Descoping continuously is an effective way to help you stay motivated. Let’s say you have 10 levels, reduce that to 5 levels. You may find that other systems implemented into the game have taken too long. Cutting out content can help you stay motivated, with the finish line in sight you’re more likely to push forward and see the project over the line.
Out of X, Y and Z, pick which is a priority. For example, if X is the priority make sure you get that done as the key. If you manage to get Y and Z done too then that’s a bonus.
How To Deal With Contradictory Feedback (22:06 - 23:35)
Sometimes you’ll receive feedback that’s confusing. Things like “I love the way the laser gun feels” vs “why the heck are you using a laser gun?”
It’s usually a good sign when people are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The best way to deal with this is to look at the person giving feedback. Casual players may find your game is too difficult, whilst hardcore players find it too easy. This could mean that the difficulty is right in the middle and just right, although this is not always the case. Some players may not like the genre of your game, they may not be interested in turn based games and ask why turn based. This may bring doubt in your mind but it’s not always bad feedback, that person may just not like turn based games, regardless of how good the game is.
How To Deal With Fear of Failing (37:05 - 42:00)
It’s quite normal to feel this in all walks of life. Some people find a change of scenery can help alleviate the fear of failing and allow you to focus on your projects. If you’re at home and feeling stuck, maybe go to a cafe and work on your project instead.
If you experience this while using certain game engines, try using a different engine instead if possible. Perhaps try using the Unreal engine instead of Unity or vice versa. If the engine is key to your project then try and open up a dummy project and play around with things. Try spawning 10,000 objects with collisions turned on, weird and unexpected stuff may happen that inspires you. Turn your fear into fun.
If you continue to push on and it’s making the fear worse then stop doing it, try something else or have a break from it and come back at a later date when you’ve had time to relax your mind.
We hope these tips help you keep your motivation up during big projects and game jams.
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Remember, we host live develogy livecasts every Tuesday at 10pm BST on our YouTube channel. You can catch all the recordings, including this episode, in the Devology Livecast course - it's free to join, and also on our YouTube Channel.
Until next time, happy dev'ing!