Kid dream part IV: Hangover & lessons learned

It has been since a while when I wrote last post. A lot of things happened from that time some of them were good and some were bad. The important message is that I didn't give it up. I guess I have to admit that my plan failed :). So I decided to write down a list of mistakes that I did. I think it is a good to have them documented and maybe it help you avoid them.

I think that the biggest mistake was that I forgot that I am a human being. I acted and planned like I was a machine. I thought that I will handle distance master study at university, a full-time job and developing a game in the evenings and of course a private life. It was ok for a short-time but also it was a long term suicide.

I was pushing so hard that I started to doubt about myself. My unconscious know that I will have to give up something. I took some time until I've figured out what. The zero-point was GDS (Game Developer Session 2013). It was so inspiring that I realized I was wasting my time at school. Well I gave one more chance to my studies but it convinced me more and more. So I've given up a master studies. That time I got also sick for lack of rest. So I took a vacation and start resting.

Actually I started playing guitar more and got some skill which I am proud of. I figured out that this hobby is helping me a lot in my life. Of course, sleeping is working well too it is better to go to sleep earlier and work in the morning than looking to the screen and doing nothing.

Tip1: Don't forget that you're a man and find something that help you rest.

To finish a project you are planning to do a lot of things. Some of them are critical, a few important and a lot of them doesn't care. In the beginning it is hard to resolve what is a rubbish and what deserves your attention. Let's look on my previous blogposts. I will take from the bright side at first. I think that first step making a proof of concept and prototype is a good thing to start.

The biggest mistakes came after and in my case it were focusing on something that I named Collection manager and of course MapEditor. The Collection manager was a good programming exercise but in context of developing a game it was the less important thing. It took a lot of my attention to feel good and to do something but in general these things should be done in the end (if ever). I've got a lesson and in future I will make an interface instead or just let it be.

The MapEditor wasn't such failure as the Collection manager but it was a blind way. It took some time then I realized that I'm trying to do a new Transport Tycoon which I didn't want. It showed me again that I was focusing on something that is not such important and should be done differently.

Tip2: Focus on important things, just ask yourself how would the task help you to achieving your goal and be honest to yourself.

The wheel
My main problem is that I have a compulsion to do things from a scratch which takes a lot of time. Yes, some problems you have to solve from a scratch but also there is a big group that has been solved before and since we have been living in the information age it is a good practice to search for a solution first.

I guess that best example in context of my game development is a game engine. It is not a good idea to do it with a first game. It cost a lot of time that should be invested better. I also think that I am incorrigible in this way :). The pro is that you gain knowledge which help you better understand the problematics. The reality is that you don't need know everything to get things done.

I've accepted the deal to improve my knowledge and programming skills but I will think more if its worth next time.

Tip3: Don't try to reinvent wheel, use Google before you start from scratch.

I wanted to something to do something big and everytime I was excused that I have no idea, lack of inspiaration, etc. The result was only a confussion and depression. You can read everywhere that you don't ideas on command but I guess a lot of people try it anyway and I am not a exception. The best lesson came when I was thinking about doing on my game and my girlfried wanted to draw something on our whiteboard. I was upset and little angry that I won't be doing on a game but I gave her a chance. Now, I know how stupid my internal reaction was. When she started drawing a fish I've got an idea to another game. Probably I wouldn't do any recordable progress on my strategy game. Instead of that we started working on our newest idea and wrote it down. I guess I'll write about it in future.

Tip3: Instead of being upset from lack of idea do ordinary things ideas will come and be prepared to write them down beacause you can forgot them very quickly.

If youre trying to do something which is new to you be prepared that you will do misstakes. Don't afraid them as the time will go stop for a while and think about them. You can document them for yourself like I did. I belive that it help me to avoid them in future. And the most important: Don't give up :). I started again strenghten by experiences and that will be topic for the next article.