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My deterrent to motivation.

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ThisIsMyBoomstick's picture
Joined: 03/30/2013

I've found myself bustling with new ideas. It's been a while since I've been on the forums. After I got through my college finals, I just fell out of this place. But I'm back now because given enough time, the creative spark has reappeared and I've even gotten my dad interested in helping out.

However, every time I feel like "Hey, I want to start working on a game." My brain immediately gets flooded with a plethora of motivational deterrent in the form of "What if/It won't work/I can't do that"

And most of it involves production and publication.

I want to ask for help.

I honestly don't know where to start, I just know that this is something I want to do. The prospect of working on something and devoting hours, days, weeks to it to have it not be for anything because I can't even make it a real thing just puts me off, plain and simple.

Anything, a rough guide, advice, success stories...ANYTHING is appreciated here. I just want to know if others have been in the same position as me. I'm literally a 19 year old with nothing but ideas. I don't have a company or a store, I don't have a website, I don't have a solid income, I'm still in college, and the list can go on. This is simply something that I want to do. I want to do it bad. The fear of failure and ignorance to the way things work is just overbearing in a way. I seriously lack in the motivation department.

So from me to any members on the forum who can understand what I'm feeling, please help.

Dralius's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008

Part of the problem is you have never made a game so you’re not sure how to go about it. The answer to that is the same advice I would give you if you were trying to write a book. You just need to make yourself write the book.

I have had several games published and it took years before one was accepted by a publisher. In other words your first game or games may not be very good or as good as they should be but to learn you have to first try.

My process is simple.

1. Write down everything that I can think of for the game; mechanics, look, feel, audience, etc…
2. Think about how the players will interact with it.
3. Write/rewrite the rules.
4. Repeat step 2 and 3 until I’m happy with it.
5. Make a quick prototype (simple as i can)
6. Solo test it (you are all the players)
7. Adjust rules and prototype.
8. Repeat step 6 and 7 until I’m happy with it.
9. Test it with people I know
10 Adjust rules and prototype
11. Repeat step 9 and 10 until I’m happy with it.
12. Get people I don’t know well to test it.
13. Refine rules and prototype.
14. Repeat step 12 and 13 until I feel it’s 90% finished.
15. Continue to work on it while i find a publisher that may be interested and follow their submission policies.

This being said I usually have 3 or 4 games I rotate working on. When I get stuck on one I move to another that I have not worked on in some time which I can then look at with a new perspective.

Corsaire's picture
Joined: 06/27/2013
I really got fired up this

I really got fired up this week, when I discovered The Game Crafter site.
They are an on demand game publisher. I know I can a make and at least get a nice finished version for under $100. Even if no one else buys the game, my investment is only time and whether I choose to have them print a copy.

So, you can take that off the mental barrier list. I've been a software developer for many years, and the other block is wondering whether it works. Well that's what testing is for; and iterative testing is a key part of the design process. You can't get it right without that feedback and tuning. In writing, they say writing is rewriting.

There , no more psychological barriers, stop waffling and get back to work :) (saying this to myself)

Joined: 04/30/2013
i do not focus on the

i do not focus on the publication and production side of things, mostly because you never know where your game will end up. it might become a mobile app for all you know instead of a board game sold on store shelves, and with radically different platforms comes different ways to bill your customer.

but in my opinion, if you design with the intent to earn money, your ideas will naturally flop, just focus on giving the player end a good experience with your game, and the rest can be worried about later

Squinshee's picture
Joined: 10/17/2012
You can't fear failure. Plain

You can't fear failure. Plain and simple.

I started trying to make my own board game April of last year. A handful of prototypes later for different designs, and I still don't have a finished product. It's tough for sure, so I end up taking a breather so I can come back with a fresh perspective. Each time I've returned, my designs have become better. You must be persistent and accept that your initial designs will probably suck.

I've been too ambitious with this idea I've had for a little under a year (see here: ), so I've decided to take a breather on that to work on something simpler. Bouncing between projects when you've hit a creative wall is an alluring proposition.

I'm 22, not in college, and I wait tables. I welcome failure because it lets me succeed. Something worth doing is worth doing poorly the first few times.

Hope this helps,


Joined: 11/19/2012
Stealing the previous subject... DO IT!

Stop thinking and start doing.

Forget about motivation, it isn't real. You'll never feel motivated to do something new and difficult. The key to success is to create HABIT.

Sit down today and make a small game for at least one hour. Focus on simplicity and creating something that is playable. Use dice, playing cards, paper and pencil and whatever else is available right now. Don't wait or put it off until you have an idea... just do it.

Tomorrow, make a decision whether you have anything worth building on. Follow up on any potentially good ideas from yesterday or search for new ones until you have something solid and playable. Do not skip your development hour NO MATTER WHAT.

Put in the work every day until it's become a habit and your motivation no longer matters.

Let me let you on a a secret as a published designer... I'm rarely motivated. But, I've created a schedule that forces me to work on games every day. My motivation usually doesn't come until I'm already working and making progress or knee deep in a tough problem.

If you want to make games, MAKE GAMES. It seems like a simple concept, but it's actually very effective.

ThisIsMyBoomstick's picture
Joined: 03/30/2013

Thanks for all of the replies, thanks a lot!

All advice taken and shall be constantly considered. I get the feeling I'll look at this thread many times to reread everything.

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