Why can't I finish my game?

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Rosstin
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Why can't I finish my game?

#1 Post by Rosstin » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:38 am

I'm writing an article for Gamasutra this weekend called "Finish Your Game"

ARTICLE IS LIVE HERE

With "Queen At Arms" a bit behind schedule, I thought I'd share some of my own experience, tricks, and advice for making the final push into finishing your game before it finishes you. (the full article will be up before the end of the week, should be finished by sunday night and then i have to run it by the editors)

https://twitter.com/RosstinMurphy/statu ... 4704222209

This is what the article looks like. It's under review by the editor right now and should be on Gamasutra by tomorrow.

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Last edited by Rosstin on Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:01 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Anne
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Re: Why can't I finish my game?

#2 Post by Anne » Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:06 am

• No one does any work
solution: Do they know EXACTLY what you expect them to do?
• Team members drift away
solution: Keep in weekly contact with your team.
So what do you suggest if these two don't work (you have a plan, agreed on deadlines, contact them on a regular basis and... nothing)?

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Re: Why can't I finish my game?

#3 Post by SundownKid » Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:20 am

Anne wrote:
• No one does any work
solution: Do they know EXACTLY what you expect them to do?
• Team members drift away
solution: Keep in weekly contact with your team.
So what do you suggest if these two don't work (you have a plan, agreed on deadlines, contact them on a regular basis and... nothing)?
Unfortunately, there's no way to force someone to remain in contact. There are only 2 things that will keep someone working on a project, passion or payment. If they don't have the passion, and they aren't being paid, you have little recourse.

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Re: Why can't I finish my game?

#4 Post by firecat » Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:20 am

ya this does not look like a good article to publish, you basicly saying "finish your work because you're lazy" and adding solutions to that makes it worst. theres also the problem that you haven't consider "money", everyone does not have a lot of money but your statement tells people that they need money. lastly bad words wont help you get anywhere in an article and most editors just throws out/delete articles with language that seems unattractive to people.
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Re: Why can't I finish my game?

#5 Post by Rosstin2 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:52 pm

The full article is more inspirational. This is just a touch of irreverent cynicism to get the ball rolling.
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Re: Why can't I finish my game?

#6 Post by Rosstin2 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:58 pm

SundownKid wrote:
Anne wrote:
• No one does any work
solution: Do they know EXACTLY what you expect them to do?
• Team members drift away
solution: Keep in weekly contact with your team.
So what do you suggest if these two don't work (you have a plan, agreed on deadlines, contact them on a regular basis and... nothing)?
Unfortunately, there's no way to force someone to remain in contact. There are only 2 things that will keep someone working on a project, passion or payment. If they don't have the passion, and they aren't being paid, you have little recourse.
Teammates are an investment. I strive to
1) Maintain a close personal friendship with my teammates outside of the project
2) Give each team members many chances to contribute ideas to the project even outside of their defined role (in fact, I have never produced my own idea or frontlined a Kickstarter)
3) Pay my team members with all my available spare monthly income (no matter how small that amount may be, my team knows that I am paying them everything I can afford)
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Re: Why can't I finish my game?

#7 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:40 pm

Anne wrote:
• No one does any work
solution: Do they know EXACTLY what you expect them to do?
• Team members drift away
solution: Keep in weekly contact with your team.
So what do you suggest if these two don't work (you have a plan, agreed on deadlines, contact them on a regular basis and... nothing)?
Then you a) have the wrong teammates or b) you are fundamentally doing something wrong when dealing with people.

Paying people can often offset both these features. It's a basic commercial exchange of skill and money, therefore it matters a whole lot less if you actually like each other as people.

If you aren't paying someone, these are critical. Finding the right people to work with is essential, you can't just pick anyone and expect it to work, especially on long term games where they will be much less willing to just ride it out. Even passion for the project can't save you if you don't gel with your team-mates. You usually need people who have similar ethic levels to you and your personalities must go together. If you don't enjoy spending time with them talking then it's probably not a good sign. Same if there are a lot of negative emotions. You know how people often advice you go on a trip with a partner before you move in with them because it's then that you will find out if you can live with their quirks or not? This is the same thing. Some people just don't go together.

Also just get people who can work on a long term project. Doing single pieces of art and working on assets for a VN for instance are two very, very different things.

The other is a lot harder to figure out since you are obviously biased in how you view yourself. It can also come down to the personalities of your team-mates as well. Some people might think you are fine, others might think dealing with you is grating. The best you can really do is to make for you are doing the basics of engaging with people in a good way:

-Be positive. No-one wants to be around a downer.
-Be friendly and attentive. Chat with them in a happy manner and take an interest in their lives and work.
-Be organised. If you are coming across as confused, disorganised or lazy it's not going to reflect well on your project or their faith in you.
-Work your butt off. As the leader you should be working harder than anyone else and regularly showing progress. Like, every week at least. Progress encourages progress.

It's much like dealing with people in real life. In real life you should be able to chat with people from many walks of life and come off as likeable, friendly and polite. If you aren't coming across like that you might have to fine tune your interactions.

@asterazul, I find you advice to be sound, I look forward to your article.

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Re: Why can't I finish my game?

#8 Post by annpan » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:54 pm

asterazul wrote: • No one will play it, so why bother?
solution: Shut up. Finish the game.
This is truly amazing. Gave me a good laugh! A VN takes a lot of amount of pressure on the sole idealist of the game. I find that a lot of insecurities will appear in a production of the game. This is the difficult part to overcome... The best that you can do to defeat this is focusing on what you can do and get the support of others to continue game. I just hope I can complete my game to get more experience into VNs.

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Re: Why can't I finish my game?

#9 Post by Donmai » Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:58 pm

asterazul wrote:• I keep working and working but it’s not done yet
solution: Reduce your scope.
• There is too much to do
solution: Reduce your scope or add a team member.
• No one does any work
solution: Do they know EXACTLY what you expect them to do?
• Team members drift away
solution: Keep in weekly contact with your team.
• You got busy
solution: No you didn’t.
• No one will play it, so why bother?
solution: Shut up. Finish the game.
• You have a bigger and better idea now
solution: You think you can finish a BIGGER game FASTER?
• You lost interest
solution: Do the shittiest possible job that gets it done
I feel sorrry that your article wasn't finished in time to save Dischan.
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Re: Why can't I finish my game?

#10 Post by minyan » Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:05 pm

asterazul wrote:I'm writing an article for Gamasutra this weekend called "Finish Your Game"

With "Queen At Arms" a bit behind schedule, I thought I'd share some of my own experience, tricks, and advice for making the final push into finishing your game before it finishes you. (the full article will be up before the end of the week, should be finished by sunday night and then i have to run it by the editors)

https://twitter.com/RosstinMurphy/statu ... 4704222209

~WHY DON’T PROJECTS GET FINISHED?~
• I keep working and working but it’s not done yet
solution: Reduce your scope.
• There is too much to do
solution: Reduce your scope or add a team member.
• No one does any work
solution: Do they know EXACTLY what you expect them to do?
• Team members drift away
solution: Keep in weekly contact with your team.
• You got busy
solution: No you didn’t.
• No one will play it, so why bother?
solution: Shut up. Finish the game.
• You have a bigger and better idea now
solution: You think you can finish a BIGGER game FASTER?
• You lost interest
solution: Do the shittiest possible job that gets it done
I always have a problem with the last two when it comes to writing ;-; But in the past year I've really been forcing myself to just sit down and finish the projects that I start, and everything is slowly but steadily come together. I know it probably sounds bad but I think that doing a shitty job to get it done really is better than not finishing at all xD Motivation can be hard to come by but if you finish something and put it out there, getting feedback might get the gears rolling and inspire you to go back in and make it better. Or not. Either way, you have a finished product. Which is more than you would have had otherwise.

I'm rambling now but my point was, I agree!
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Re: Why can't I finish my game?

#11 Post by Godline » Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:54 pm

It's always good finding good teammates. I've had great people so far. :) Without Xavi and Anne (and Katta) my projects probably would have crumbled. So it's inspiring finding people who like your idea and want to work toward making it the best it can be really does help.

But when it comes down to it - it has to be on you to finish it. That's where it gets hard. I love writing the fluffy romantic scenes but I need to pull it together and fill in the rest of the blanks just because it needs to get done. :) Sometimes you have to do the not-fun parts just to make a finished project. It's like that with everyone.

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Re: Why can't I finish my game?

#12 Post by Doedelzak » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:47 am

asterazul wrote:I'm writing an article for Gamasutra this weekend called "Finish Your Game"
• I keep working and working but it’s not done yet
solution: Reduce your scope.
My solution is to continue, continue, continue, everyday. At first it seems impossible, but in a few weeks (or months...), it becomes a natural thing, and a daily pleasure. You just do what have to be done, and as time passes, the game slowly becomes real. Very slowly. Keep in mind Katawa Shoujo took 5 years to its creators.

But yeah, you should be realistic when you start. A few years aren't a big deal (unless you make a short game). 20 years are.

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Re: Why can't I finish my game?

#13 Post by Rosstin » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:13 am

continue, continue, continue, everyday. At first it seems impossible, but in a few weeks (or months...), it becomes a natural thing, and a daily pleasure
really this is the best case scenario
if you can love it, you will win
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Re: Why can't I finish my game?

#14 Post by Tyrantauranox » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:44 am

The biggest killer excuse that I hear (and sometimes feel) is:

"I don't have time to get serious with it." (often worded in different ways)

To fight this, I try to convince myself that even thirty minutes is okay- JUST GET STARTED!

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Re: Why can't I finish my game?

#15 Post by truefaiterman » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:00 am

In a single hour, if you focus on it, you can have more than 1000 words, which can be up to 4 or 5 pages for a book. Jut stay out of the Internet, isolate yourself, and start the countdown!
Artist and voice actor, trying to actually write stuff.

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