One of the hardest things I’ve ran into with working on an indie game is getting motivated. Don’t get me wrong, I love working on my game, everything from writing code to testing to logging bugs. The hard part for me is after putting in an 8 hour work day + commute + dinner + family time it’s all of a sudden 10pm and I finally have a bit of free time before sleeping and doing it all over again.
So, where do I get motivated to start working on something at that point? It’s hard, for sure, but I find small things seem to help me. Most recently a friend of mine started his own company and is beginning a kick starter for it. After talking to him about that, I was oddly motivated to get a bunch of work done. Other times if someone else involved with the project puts in a bunch of work and I see a bunch of updates I get motivated from that to keep up. It’s weird how these little things can help, but with that you need to also make sure to take small steps. For example it’s hard to get motivated to add a new feature if you know it’s going to take a few hours to finish and you really only have 1 or 2. But taking that same amount of work and saying OK tonight I’ll get these first 3 parts done, and tomorrow the next 3, and so on is a lot easier to get motivated for.
What about frustration?
Working on a game is going to make you frustrated at times. It might be you worked all night on an awesome feature, just to realize the next day it could of been done a much simpler way, or doesn’t align with your game design properly. It could be you’re working with someone else on a project and you feel you are pulling all the weight and they are just doing a few small things occasionally. Whatever it is that is frustrating you right now while developing, or has recently frustrated you, take a second to pause, take a deep breathe and remember why you are working on this. It’s not a job, where you clock your hours and collect a cheque at the end of the week. Game development is about passion, passion for design, passion for development, passion for games. No matter what’s going on remember at the end of the day there is one thing that matters and that is you are working on something you enjoy. You should never be frustrated more then a few seconds if you are truly passionate about your project.