Today I’ve had an epiphany. Half a year ago I wrote “What to do?”, wondering why I keep coming back to one project while trashing others left and right. Today I realized… what I’m trashing aren’t projects, they’re finished experiments.
I play Mega Man one day and suddenly – a flood of ideas.
Yes! I will write a platformer!
What happened here is not that I suddenly had a great idea for a platformer, I saw something I wanted to code. In this specific instance it was the move and jump mechanic. (FYI: Coding those mechanics is much easier said than done.) But instead of simply trying to do that, I came up with a game concept.
That’s commonly how my “projects” start, when all I’m interested in is a single mechanic. The problem is that I don’t treat them as such. I come up with code names, I think about features, tell a friend who’s a talented writer to come up with a story, in some of the worst cases I’ve actually told a bunch of people about the “awesome project” I’m working on, which they expected me to finish then, naturally, only to be disappointed later on when I didn’t.
After a few days, weeks at the most, I have usually either implemented what subconsciously intrigued me originally, or I’ve figured out how to do it but ultimately decided that it’s not worth the trouble. Again, this ending, it happens subconsciously, I blame myself for not going trough with the project, for abandoning it before it even really began, for losing motivation, when in reality my mind was simply satisfied. I learned what I wanted to learn, and there was no more reason to continue.
However, in some rare instances I start projects with no goals at all, or with much bigger ones. Like the one I wrote about last time, “there has to be something about it”, I said, “a reason why I keep coming back”, well of course, you haven’t reached your goal yet! I can’t trash it because I don’t have a goal in range. Were I to abandon that project I’d trash something that is not done yet in my mind, and that seems to be something I can’t do.
While this might seem obvious, I think realizing it is a big step for me. Or so I hope. Maybe, knowing this, I’ll waste less time on wannabe projects, that my mind doesn’t even see as such, and work on more actual ones, that deserve that term. And maybe this will lead to me being more productive. Well, one can only hope.
“Hm~ Mabinogi in 2D in the style of Secret of Mana and A Link to the Past, I bet that would be awesome!” (Hm~ implementing pixel perfect movement and an action battle system *_*)