I’m always a bit hesitant to tell people that my hobby is making video games. Not because I’m embarrassed that I’m a nerd – I embrace that. And not because I’m not confidant my knowledge. I can ramble on for hours about game design, what makes mechanics fun, what programs to use, you name it. No, I’m hesitant to talk about it because inevitably comes something along the lines of “Oh, that sounds cool. Can I play it somewhere?” And the answer has always been a sheepish “No – it’s not really in a playable point yet. I’ll let you know when it’s ready.” I've never had anything I was *really* proud of enough to show off. It never met the standards I set for myself.
None of my projects have ever made it to a point where a string of gameplay was longer than 5 minutes. Since I began game coding in 2011, I’ve started dozens if not hundreds of games. I’ve gotten really good at making the perfect folder structure in Unity but I’ve never completed even an imperfect game. Six months on one then three months on another. All never seeing the light of day. Every time I started a new project, I left the old one with the idea that I'd come back to it, but that rarely happened.
My Unity projects folder with 20+ games. Countless already deleted half made games not shown. And this is only from the last two years.
Seeing the graveyard of projects, I got to a breaking point where enough was enough, and I set out to only work on a single project until it is complete. That game turned out to be Moonshot. In order to help ensure I was successful, I evaluated why my previous games had failed. The major reasons were:
- too large of a scope
- lack of artistic ability
- the monotony of the grind
- poor planning and time management
- moving onto the next big idea
- being my own worst critic
- no accountability to finish
- being a penny pincher and perfectionist
I’ll be writing in more detail about these issues and the techniques I’ve used to try to overcome them. Also, I’ll be posting blogs about Moonshot design decisions and bug troubleshooting stories. My goal is to complete my first real video game and release it for a wider audience. Hopefully I can offer some words of wisdom along the way as well.