lost souls: motivation

Please don’t mistake this as a motivational post. I’m just kind of writing on the psychological aspects of this journey in game development that I’m observing in myself.

Motivation is an interesting thing. A lot of times today people are obsessed with “hustle” and bragging about it. It’s less of a brag and more of a norm in game development, especially seen in “crunch culture” or however you want to look at it. I think to some extent it’s almost unavoidable depending on the culture surrounding the project.

When chatting with my good friend Heph he reminded me of a quote from Shigeru Miyamoto I had heard a few years back:

“A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”

One can debate either side of delaying a game for personal well being. Be it profits or audience retention, the primary question is at what point is it worth the negative implications for an individual? I’m not clearly on either side of this debate myself. Unfortunately like most things in life, it’s not a black and white subject. While taking care of yourself is one of the most important things in life, there is something to be said for pushing thru the tough parts. The two aren’t mutually exclusive in all cases, but often times it’s the grit that you find in a developer that pushes a game to fruition.

Game development is both equally awesome and terrible. If it was just one of the two, either everyone that wants to would make games, or nobody would. With this in mind the initial excitement is starting to wear off and the real grind is starting to kick in. It’s not the first, or the last time, that I will experience this feeling. While working my previous job I would still write code most nights. Getting home in the evening and staying up til 2-3 AM writing, sleeping 5-6 hours, and repeating. The issue was that at the time I didn’t have a defined goal. I just wanted to make something.

While I’m arguably the furthest along I’ve ever been in making a game of the quality that I am, at times it still feels like I’m at the starting point. At the end of the day the primary thing that keeps me going is knowing that if I don’t give it everything I can, I’ll regret it. I’ve passed the point of fearing failure or embarrassment. I’d rather be broke and self made than decently well off and living under someone else’s thumb.