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Today we're focusing on common problems developers face after starting their project, and what you can do to counter them.

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On avoiding burnout and trashing your project

Perhaps the chief-most hurdle developers face in their work is avoiding burnout and abandoning their project before anything gainful ever comes to fruition. A great idea is born, late at night by some imaginative developer, full of amazing concepts and mechanics that have never been tried before. Overwhelmed with excitement from all of the potential, feeding off the fuel of coffee and cigarettes (or whiskey, if we're going for the refined angle),they feverishly begin work on the next big indie hit. Fast forward a month or two later, and those flowery dreams have somehow wilted.

Rinse, lather, repeat.

The problem is often simple: we are too ambitious in our plans. This isn't to say that ambition is a bad thing- it's quite the opposite- but we must understand how too much of it can ruin us. When I first began work on Tumbling Apart and established the core concept of what the game would be, I'd have these ideas that seemed great fly through my head. I'd say to myself, "Holy shit, (insert concept here) would be amazing!" but then I had to ask the tough question. I had to ask myself: Is it realistic to implement this in the game without it causing problems? If the idea passes that check, then great, move on with it. But if it doesn't, ditch the idea immediately. No matter how good it sounds. You can't waste time on something that might sound good in your head, but will cause nothing but problems in practice. It could even wreck your game. Don't chance it.

Ambition is a great thing, but don't overextend. Set your limits and have a solid framework, and only then should you go wild within that sturdy house you've built. If you fail to do this, that dream you dreamed up... it's gonna' die.


Another major problem for young developers is a much simpler and easier adversary to overcome: genuine, I'm getting sick and tired of this, burnout. The rules here are simple:

1) Make sure you love what you are doing. Fer reals, this is of utmost importance. You can always work, even if you hate what you're doing. But is passion going to show?

2) Take a break when you need to. Don't worry, if you're following rule #1, you WILL come back to it.

3) Switch up what you're doing. Too many developers focus solely on the actual development of the game, when there is another huge part that requires attention: marketing. Getting a little tired of coding? Start working on your pixel art. Getting tired of that as well? Work on your website, promote your game on imgur, or make a cool youtube video about your game. You're still focusing on something essential for the success of your game, but you're keeping things from getting stale. And remember, a stale mind reflects in your work, so avoid it.

4) Do not underestimate number 3.

As always, thanks for reading! I'd love to hear what anyone else has to say on the issue, and how they tackled these problems themselves.


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