Dev Update: Limiting Myself

As of now, I haven’t made any real progress on my game. I’ve just got bits and pieces here and there of story, level design, art, and mechanics laid out, but the picture still barely resembles a skeleton. That’s okay, I realize, but I feel as though I’m holding myself back when I look at the big picture.

I’ve been limiting myself. Whenever I sit down to work on my game – and I find myself doing this with posts too – I construct mental roadblocks. Even the small ones are rather large speedbumps at best, and they’re difficult to work past sometimes. I’ll sit down to work on the programming, and find myself too caught up in the character design and artwork. I’ll sit down to play around with character design and get too concerned with how they’ll work mechanically. I go to work on the mechanics for the game and get worried that I won’t be able to program it in properly. No matter what I intend to focus on, I find myself nit-picking things that don’t really matter right now, and if they’ll be impactful, they’re really just things I’ll have to figure out later.

I’ve set up a more structured program for myself to follow where I rotate between the creative and more structured aspects of the development and I just focus on the one element for an hour or two and don’t let myself get distracted by the world around, including the other parts of my game.

That being said, it’s still a struggle.

How do you all keep yourselves focused on your goals, and how do you stop yourself from forming mental roadblocks like this? Let me know in the comments!


5 thoughts on “Dev Update: Limiting Myself

  1. Well, as far as I’ve been into one-person game-dev, I’ve found out, that the key concept here is to make all game aspects as atomic as possible.
    So, I divide the whole game into many stages, which are vertically orderd, from the lowest stages, the most basic features, to the highest, the most advanced features. I represent each stage as indivisible activity – I can’t start another stage until I finish the one I’m working on. Also each stage contains all kinds of tasks – from programming to 3d modeling. When I finish a stage, I take a several-day break, when I can do everything I want, peform some tests or make some level design stuff, for example, and then I start a new stage. If you’re familiar with the spiral model of software development, you can take it as a blueprint for your workflow.
    For example, the first stage: you start with a cube (or a sphere or something simple) instead of the caracter, write basic scripts for the movment (for example), construct simple level and put it in the game. Well, that’s quite a coarse sketch, but it does work, you can move that dummy-char in that simple level and it is a game already. On the next stage (or another step of the spiral), you make make a propper character model with animations and expand the script to handle the animation. For example, this stage contains the ‘cool character model and basic jump and run mechanics’ feature, so you make the jump mechanics and animations, and it’s a game already too. Also, I personally focus on programming-related tasks first of all.
    For example, last week I was working on the ‘interaction’ feature (haven’t yet posted a blog about this, lol) – the day before yesterday and yesterday I was working on scripts, and now I’m going to work on animations and then – finish this feature and this stage. And you know what? I’m going to succeed.

    Liked by 1 person

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